Salmond’s proposed referendum question is heavily biased

The Scotch Numpty Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond’s proposed referendum question “‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” is strongly biased. (

The question is biased because it is (1) asking people to positively agree not merely choose from neutral options and (2) it would require a positive yes or no by the voter. It is well established that humans are predisposed to agree and say yes rather than disagree and say no, because both of the latter seem negative and confrontational.

A neutral question, as far as any can be devised, would be something like this:

Scotland to remain within the UK?

Scotland to be independent ?

With a box against each question  and a cross put in one box. That would remove the need to vote Yes or No directly.

There would still be the problem of putting one question before the other which tends to make more people go for the first question. This could be obviated by printing half the ballot papers  with one of the questions first and the other half of the  ballot papers with the other question first. 

A question in the form  proposed  by Salmond would never be used by a mainstream  polling company or in academic research because of its slanted nature.

This entry was posted in Devolution, Nationhood, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Salmond’s proposed referendum question is heavily biased

  1. Chris says:

    Since you clearly have nothing but contempt for Scotland, why the hell do you care about us leaving the Union?
    After all you are the ones who subsidise us, right? So you are going to be in a richer country, hey maybe your government will even be able to afford to give you free University education and free healthcare!
    Stop being so bloody bitter, this blog should be called the Little Englander.

    • RockinRobin says:

      You and your like are the reason that I for one, will be so damn happy to wave you lot goodbye.

      You think this blog is bitter and biased then go and read the comments at Bella Caledonia; or the garbage spewed out in the comment section of the Guardian, the Scotsman or the Herald by nasty vicious Scots. After 13 years of this I am sick to death of the lot of you, and wow what self-righteous bigots you turn into when it starts coming back at you. Now get lost.

      • EnglishinEngland says:

        That’s seconded. Why so many Scots feel the need to comment on English political blogs when they only get upset by what they read confuses me. They sound like the “Outraged of Orpington” types who read newspapers just to get angry…

      • Chris says:

        @ EnglishinEngland – if this blog is so exclusively English then why does it have numerous sections on Scotland contained in it. Are you saying that you have a right to say as you please about another nation and not expect to be corrected and educated where necessary.

      • John Bull says:

        Chris you have identified the real problem and EnglishinEngland highlights the very crux of the situation. Often people dont like to have to explain their unfounded comments or propaganda, it is better to spread untruths and whinge that other people are less valued in a partnership, it is often called backstabbing and done without the targets knowledge. It is designed to not allow them to have the chance to reply or to tell the real truth.

        Notice that when the facts are made clear or the right of reply is expressed and the propaganda disputed, the only reply is “this site is only for the us” however it continues to put down other nationalities. It is available on the World WIde Web, and is one of the first hits that comes about when googling “Scotland independance”. The whole world is reading this stuff, so it paints a very poor example of the English psyche. Since it is after all a blog, and blogs are designed for a right to reply, the targets of the blog should therefore have the right of reply. If not then possibly the contributors should hold meetings at night in secret and maybe place white hoods over their heads so right thinking individuals do not see who they are or know what they are doing

        I have English heritage and I am sorry and ashamed about some of the views expressed on here. But thankfully they are not my beliefs and I very much doubt they are the view of the general population of England.

  2. jamess says:

    The AV referendum was not a choice but a Yes/No like the one proposed yesterday.

    The question was: “At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the “alternative vote” system be used instead?”

    Would you prefer: “At present Scotland is in a political union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Should Scotland end this union and become an independent country”? Yes/No.

    Seems a little excessive as I’m sure people know the country they are in at the time of the vote.

    I like the question as it’s as straightforward as it comes.

  3. barry says:

    What a surprised even a biased referendum.

  4. Rene says:

    It’s about the OIL: North Sea OIL that belongs to Scotland!!!!!!

  5. barry says:

    Oh thats right the north sea oil belongs to Scotland apparently, so it wasnt English money that paid for surveys, the platforms and everythinbg else it was all Scotland’s own taxes that paid for it all? No it wasn’t we paid for all of it and by rights we should have it, but you know what KEEP it you need all the help you can get and let me tell you north sea will not pay for Scottish independence you need a fortune which you do not have and never will have…

  6. Chris says:

    @RockinRobin, I don’t read any of that shite either, and I hate little Englanders as much as I hate little Scotlanders. This blog is a totally negative and pathetic little venting ground for people who see the UK as one entity called England, and don’t beleive that Scotland should dare to question your right to rule. Grow the fuck up, its the 21st century.

    And Barry, yes it really is Scotland’s Oil, and no not one bent penny of English taxes was spent developing it. For a start there was no such thing back then as English money, only British, but the government sold the rights to Oil companies to explore and drill. And the biggest engineering company used to build the platforms etc, is Weir group in Glasgow. Anyway, my point is that the oil industry was completely out with government hands, it was all done privately, and thanks we will keep it.

  7. barry says:

    Chris, firstly calm down, I cannot wait for Scotland to go it alone in fact I will do all I can to help them, push them in fact, so no I would never questions Scotland’s right to rule what I do question is their ability to rule without OUR money Chris yes that’s right OUR money not Scotlands.

    So how much so called British money was actually English taxes…mmmm let me think Chris probably all of it!!! Like I said keep the oil you will need it. I don’t know why you think oil in the north sea is yours but hey ho , oh yes oil companies in particular what oil company? BP mm thats as English as the day is long if the oil is in private hands good luck getting it back!!

    • Laugh@Racists says:

      Ha Ha Barry do you know any facts? or are you the typical result of a failing English education system.. England historically obtained its money from theft from India and other countries that it invaded and then stole from. Thankfully that no longer works in an enlightened world..

      England is now an economical basket case, full of thieves dnd do nothings, did you not see the riots last year or were these not English people. I see on the other posts you are trying to blame the black man with percentages and statistics (racist idiots!!!) thats what Hitler did against the Jews etc….. The better the other Nations of the Union wake up to the racist and small minded English people like you the better.

      Your a joke. Everyone who answers and provides you with facts, you reply back with nasty remarks and ill founded Rhetoric. You must be a very bitter racist little man, I do feel very sorry for you.

      • barry says:

        I see you do not have the guts to leave your name shame you hgide behind a tag=pathetic
        1) I am the result of a failing education system in England please explain that to me, I am so thick I cant see it you see?
        2) England stole money from India and other countries…mm shall we investigate that, ok lets start with Spain, they also did the same, what about the Moores from Africa they also did the same, or what about the Romans,Greeks,Vikings,Saxons….etc etc..if you actually know what you are talking about come back to me but the difference between Engalnd and those countries we actually improved the copuntries we invaded and left them in a better position once we had left few invaders apart from the romans perhaps can say that!!
        3)Can you spell? And is spelt and not dnd and you say I am a result of a failing eduction system…?
        4) The riots were all English people, oh thats right because the riots occured in England then it stands to reason every single rioter must have been English, really do you truly believe that?
        5) Other posts I am blaming the black man with percentages and statistics, really I am doing this are you sure it’s me 100%. One thing I am not or ever will be is racist and dont you ever come on here or anywhere else and accuse me of it. I might agree with facts and figures yes, that does not make me racist it just means I agree with them, your the racist for suggesting such a thing.
        6) Nasty remarks and and rhetoric, by the way it is spelt with a small r not capital one. I am never nasty with any remark but clearly you are and it appears you might be a coward as you come on here slagging me off hiding behind a tag and you call me small minded and bitter, I would try looking in the mirror.

  8. Chris says:

    It’s very easy to get oil out of private hands these days, its called super tax on foreign companies operating in your territory, the Saudi’s et al. did it when they realised that they were being robbed blind. at the moment Scotland contributes 55 billion to the treasury, and we get 30 billion from Westminster. So where does that 25 billion extra go? propping up the army, to give the UK an over inflated sense of its own importance. Replacing Trident for £100 billion. These are things we would not be wasting our money on, and therefore we would do very well without England’s money. So we thank you for your support and wish you well as an Independent nation. if England is going to thrive you will all need to spit out those lemons that you are chewing on.

  9. barry says:

    If is very easy..YOU WONT MIND DOING IT THEN WILL YOU!!? You get 30 billion but you pay 55 billion dont think so you have your figures the wrong way round, perhaps you need to check your facts, you are including in this the barnett formula monies you receive arent you?

    Lemons, we’re bitter why would we be bitter, we are not bitter we are peaved that we have to pay for you, we do not want to, pay for yourself if you raise 55 billion then you should be ok with 3 million but love to know how you raise 55 billion from 3 million all of whom do not work?

  10. Chris says:

    barry its a shame that you are such a retard. The 30 billion is the barnett formula, that is all that Scotland gets from it you sad little streak of piss. We Prop you up, there are 5 million of us and our unemployment rates are not as bad as yours.
    Take a look pal, its all here for you, if you can read it? I know that your country has never really valued education very highly, maybe that’s why you can’t count. pay for yourselves you filthy beggars!

  11. barry says:

    OMG please do not abuse me I am not abusing you but it is clear from the figures you kindly provided me that your government spends more than it makes!! Therefore you cannot possibly be sustainable even with oil money.

    Retard? Streak of piss? You prop us up? 5 no, unemployment. Well you are all employed by government not private companies well most of you are anyway so if we pulled out or you went independent those jobs will go.

    If I can read it? Cant count? Pay for ourselves? You are joking right? You actually think Scotland props up the uk? So your so called 5 million people prop up 55-60 million hahahahahahahaha thats the best laugh I have had in ages

    • Laugh@Racists says:


      OMG!!!!!!! How old are you!!!!

      As for your reply above, you want to take a look at your own spelling mistakes. hgide is spelt – hide., “remarks and and rhetoric”, (you only need one and thanks, I can understand how flustered you would have been), put spaces between your punctuation as well please. I could go on for ever. But that is a childish argument, concentrate on the facts or Is that the best you have got?

      I do like your comments under paragraph 2) it really shows what you are about, “Because everyone else did it, then that is ok”.. That is exactly what the English rioters said to justify their behaviour as well, are you sure you were not one of them? Ha Ha Ha, but even more sinister, it is what the Nazi said to justify thier actions… ” i was just following orders and everyone was doing it”…

      As for the statement that “every country you colonised you left it in a far better state”?. Are you for real? You want to read more and not just listen to the London papers for your education. Maybe try to understand the other side’s perspective and you may see why everyone you associate with wants to get away from you. It is the very reason these so called countries you “helped” kicked the English chinless wonders out. The murder of complete populations such as the Aborigines of Australia and people of the pacific, Africa, Asia and the exploitation of the Americans, The introduction of disease and the confiscation of the local peoples lands and cultures…. The last bastion of abuse now seems to be directed at the members of the Union. It might be time to start to make friends and not try to belittle your partners any longer, you are running out of friends.

      By the way you dont have to be 100% racist to be a racist 10% will do, but you know yourself you very much exceed this, come on fess up…..

      • barry says:

        Oh dear you cannot even answer your own post? Never mind, I will not continue to answer any of your so called questions until you answer the ones I have asked you above. You cant even read between the lines..never mind perhaps one day eh!

  12. Chris says:

    So you obviously cannot read. Scotland had a net surplus, 2005-09, with an admittedly large deficit last year due to the City of London driven global financial crisis. However the financial crisis wont last forever, and as they keep on finding more oil fields up north there is no problem in regaining that net surplus. Especially with the development of Renewable energy for which we have the highest potential in Europe. The last time the UK ran a surplus on it its balance sheet was 1822. So we do out preform the rest of the UK in financial terms, and our surplus does not get spent in Scotland, it gets spent in England. I am not really saying that we prop you up, but we help you out. It’s like charity, England spends the huge sums that it raises in a reckless fashion, and we get some money siphoned off to help England out.

    Sorry for the earlier abuse Barry, but English ignorance towards Scotland boils my piss.

    Anyway the time for Scotland handing its extra cash to big daddy Cameron (nice Scottish name at least) and to direct it to where it can be used best.

    25% of the workforce is Scotland is public sector and 20% in England. Not so huge when you consider that we have public bodies which cover the whole of the UK, so we will have far fewer people in those agency’s and those numbers will need to be employed in England because you will need to set up that equivalent agency. And we have always provided more public services for our people, of that we are proud and so it shall continue to be higher than in England. Where to be a public servant is to be looked down upon. Of course these figure include the staff of the likes of RBS which is now publicly owned. So when that gets sold back into the private sector this percentage will drop further.

    Now don’t be so ungrateful for everything that we have given you over the last 300 years, including the television, the telephone, the Bank of England and the best Prime ministers. It’s about time England learned to stand on its own two feet and govern itself. It’s the best laugh that I have had in, oh, I dunno when I read such stupid arrogant crap. But if it makes you support independence then you can think what you like, we will see which country does best after the split. I wish our king had never bothered taking the throne of England in 1603, then we would not even need to have this discussion.

    • barry says:

      I am not going to go into television, telephone and BoE as we could go on forever, needless to say Chris, Scotland has NEVER stood on it’s own two feet we have always subsidised it no matter what rubbish you have been fed. The resaon the public sector is frowned upon is because if you have more of the workforce working for the government than private sector you will run out of money, it’s not rocket science, so to have 25% although I know its more of the workforce that is a quarter Chris FYI working for the government then you see how you can get yourself into trouble. So the city of London drove the worldwide financial crisis and RBS and it’s Scottish bankers had nothing to do with it then? HBOS was not bought by an English bank then, which if it hadnt it would have gone to the wall?

      You help us out…REALLY, who has fed you all this diatribe?

      Do you want me to tell you what England has given the world, I can but it would fill many pages and you know it so lets leave inventions out shall we?

      You actually think Scotland could go it alone and it would not go bankrupt..hahahahahahahahaha financially you would not be able to afford to go it alone, I know it, England and the world knows it, only Salmond and you dont, tell me who actually paid for your parliament was it UK money or Scottish?

      • Chris says:

        Its yourself Barry that has been fed diatribe, and been brainwashed by Westminster. Scotland is tipped to become the 6th largest economy per capita in the world after independence, everybody knows that now.
        here is the report which Westminster buried in the 1970’s to stop Independence from happening earlier. If we need you so much, how come your tory government is so desperate to keep us?

  13. barry says:

    Ok how much oil do you have left then? Do you know? Once that is gone so are you, what are you going to do then?

    • Chris says:

      There is at least 50 years, but probably more. And by then we will have developed our economy in order not to need to rely on the oil trade. As I told you before, there is massive potential for the Renewable sector in Scotland. A small country like Scotland though would be able to use the surplus from its initial oil revenues to service its national debt and build up a sovereign wealth fund like Norway and Denmark have now. I don’t think that you can deny those country’s are doing very well for themselves. And Scotland still has a reasonably strong industrial base and a financial services industry. Edinburgh makes more per head than any city in the UK, obviously London makes far more money, but per capita it is lower than Edinburgh. So we are in a strong position and we will be able to survive and thrive, even after the oil is gone.

  14. barry says:

    50 years is not long like I said I support Scottish independence, I also support English Independence and Welsh. I just feel we will be the country that makes more out of any seperation than anyone else that is not to say you should not do it, but please do it with a sense of leaving a friend rather than an enemy, hating people is not good for anyone, especially people who have had nothing to do with the arguments you have now.

    • Chris says:

      I think it is in you’re mind that we are doing it out of some hatred for the English, I have never had a problem with England, my gran comes from York so I spent every summer as a child down there. We are doing this because it is what is best for us. And I hope that England does well too.

  15. barry says:

    No I do not think Scotland is leaving because it hates England, but you did give the impression that you did. The referendum is worded incorrectly though as it says ‘do you agree’ implying that the Scottish goverment have already made a decision, this physchologically means you out of sub-conciousness or other similar mind aversion will choose ‘yes’ rather than oppose they status quo and vote ‘no’ it should at least say ‘should’ that is a less leading word and should help in a more balanced result.

    • billbo says:

      Just one point to you Barry. You said, “The referendum is worded incorrectly though as it says ‘do you agree’ implying that the Scottish goverment have already made a decision….”. The point is the Scottish Government has already made a decision. They have decided that it’s in the best interests of Scotland, and generally the normal state of affairs for most countries around the world, to be independent. They are asking us, the people who democratically elected them with an overwhelming mandate, if we agree with them.

      Another point about this thread in general, and not directed at anyone in particular, but as I’ve been reading through the replies in this thread it did make me think of this bit in Blackadder (skip to one minute in)

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  17. newell says:

    Laugh @ racists the riots in England were in areas were ethnics predominiate if they are “white “it doesn’t make them “English”.The guy who the police eliminated could have been described as white but he certainly didn’t look it.The other half of his family was the “Noonan brothers”,gangters from Dublin wno organised the Manchester riots.They were friendly with one Dessie Hayes .the bomber who killed 7 at Harrods .There you have in a nutshell “Englands”problems if someone is born or resident in England does’t make him English,like the kitten in the kipper the Duke of Wellington used to say.
    As for Scottish independence there is appertnly 32 Scottish internationals who were born in England .but played at one time for Scotland.Are they english or Scottish.?.

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