Better Together’s 500 Questions parodied online

Alistair Darling speaks at a press conference on behalf of Better Together. Picture: Andy O'Brien
Alistair Darling speaks at a press conference on behalf of Better Together. Picture: Andy O'Brien
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The Scottish independence referendum debate has lately sustained criticism that it has been found wanting for humour.

But an opportunity for some much-needed levity has emerged via a rather unlikely source - a Better Together paper entitled 500 Questions.

Better Together chair Alistair Darling. Picture: Jane Barlow

Better Together chair Alistair Darling. Picture: Jane Barlow

The document, published yesterday, set out questions to be answered by the pro-independence movement on matters ranging from EU membership to taxation and spending in a hypothetical independent Scotland.

However, Twitter users were quick to ridicule the list, laughing off questions that were criticised for being pedantic and “dull”.

One Twitter user remarked: “There are some absolute belters in @UK_Together’s 500 questions. ‘466. What will Scotland’s international dialling code be?’ You serious?”

Another tweet, in a reference to the controversy surrounding Better Together’s acceptance of a donation from Vitol boss Ian Taylor, whose company has been alleged to have had dealings with a Serbian war criminal, asked: “Will Ian Taylor still bankroll our politicians in an Independent Scotland?”

Some users defended the paper as containing valid questions, though one conceded that “drowning them in 500 dull ones doesn’t help get answers.”

A raft of other responses taking the mickey out of the 500 Questions paper were contributed - here are some of our favourites.

@GarryStitchell: Will an independent Scotland still be allowed to use the 3 prong plug? This could sway my vote

@kylechristison: Will the Famous Tartan Army be our front line of defence?

@PaulMcG92: Will Susan Boyle become our Queen?

@AndrewxAllan: Will my milkshake still bring all the boys to the yard in an independent Scotland

@garydunion: In an independent Scotland, will English mustard be banned or simply renamed Yellow Treachery?

@GKnollington: Will Barbie have beefier calves in an independent Scotland?

@Ross_Greer: Will Scotch eggs be renamed freedom balls?

@AngusCMillar: Question 534: Who will be the Scottish Minister for Fisheries in 2092?

@DohertyRA: In an independent Scotland will Primal Scream be representatives of Glaswegian music, or dismissed as vile collaborators?

@BigDen14: Who gets custody of Oor Wullie in an independent Scotland?

Humour bypass

Comedian Susan Calman was the subject of a torrent of online abuse after an appearance on a BBC Radio 4 show where she poked fun at the Scottish independence debate, while the BBC received around 100 complaints after actor Ray Winstone made jokes about Scottish “tramps” on satirical news quiz Have I Got News For You.

The incidents have led to renewed calls for an end to the sometimes hostile nature of the debate.

SEE ALSO: Better Together’s 500 questions blog entry

SEE ALSO: Susan Calman: Death threats for independence satire

SEE ALSO: Charities fear ‘toxic’ independence debate

SEE ALSO: Andrew Wilson: Debate on independence being muddied by unkind and unwise words