|Mr Salmond, left, in happier times, with Sir Sean|
Connery (centre) and Mr Donald Trump
The negotations, I'm told, were fraught, due to the conflicting agendas in Westminster and Dumbiedykes. Mr Cameron, it seems, was badly briefed by his special advisers on the exact nature of the Scottish Question, and originally proposed the question "salt or sauce?", not realising that this chip-related query was both the punchline to a joke told at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1999 by the comedian Mr Greg Proops, and the answer to the "West Lothian Question" posed by the sage of Linlithgow, Sir Thomas Dalyell Loch, 11th Baronet.
Mr Salmond's original text was subtly different, and was ruled out by Westminster mandarins on the grounds that it was more of a statement than a question. According to the draft document, it read as follows:
"Lower your flags and march straight back to England, stopping at every home you pass by to beg forgiveness for three hundred years of theft, rape, and murder. Do that and your men shall live. Do it not, and every one of you will die today."
There is, you may have noticed, a considerable difference between the two positions, but I understand that an agreement is close, if civil servants can iron out a few nuances.
What is not in dispute is the fact that the electorate will only be given two options on the ballot paper, "Yes" or "No", despite polls showing that a majority of Scots hold neither of these positions, and would prefer to vote for what is known as the Kenny Dalglish option, "Mibbes 'aye', mibbe 'naw'".
To paraphrase my mother, Mrs Elder (or Ma'am), there will be many turns of the spurtle before anyone can enjoy this pot of porridge.