Salmond says “the…Lib Dem(s)….cannot act as the Tories’ front men in Scotland and at the same time present themselves as Home Rulers – they have to choose.”

From the BBC Nick Clegg attacks the SNP’s delay on calling an independence referendum

Clearly I am opposed to Alex Salmond’s ambition, which seems to be his sole ambition in Scottish government, to yank Scotland out of the United Kingdom.
I think it is not good for Scotland. I believe passionately in a strong Scotland, with more powers, but in a strong United Kingdom.
I think the more that the details are looked at and the less that Alex Salmond is able to provide any answers to any questions about what it means for Scottish people, then the more people will actually decide this isn’t really something that they want.

A spokesman for Salmond:

The Lib Dems’ obsession with the SNP this week has been plain for all to see as their position on the constitution crumbles under pressure, and they have only succeeded in making themselves look ridiculous.
On the one hand they oppose the Scottish government’s call for financial powers such as Corporation Tax being transferred to Scotland to support our economy and create jobs, but at the same time Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and his colleagues are talking about setting up a Commission to deliver full financial independence.
That is extraordinary muddled thinking, and the simple fact is that the Scottish Secretary and his Lib Dem colleagues cannot act as the Tories’ front men in Scotland and at the same time present themselves as Home Rulers – they have to choose.

It’s sad in a way how generations of patient and assiduous work on behalf of the Scottish Lib Dems can be wiped out almost overnight. I’ve posted on the Scottish Parliament election wipeout previously.
Newsnet Scotland reports on recent by-election results.

With the SNP enjoying continued success in the Highland ward in Perthshire on Friday the analysis of the combined vote in all the by-elections which have taken place since May’s election show significant swings of 2.23% from Labour, 4.78% from the Conservatives and an astonishing 8.10% from the Liberal Democrats.
The SNP has gained two seats in the eight by-elections held since the elections and seen its support increase by more than 8% since the last Local Authority Elections.

Whilst both the Tories and Labour in Scotland are considering new structures and responsibilities in response to the SNP success it seems that the Lib Dems have transformed themselves from proud Home Rulers to a bunch of dismally unpopular Unionist attack dogs. Interesting strategy.