Scotland's First Minister has insisted the "nonsense" will end in 2014 when the country votes on independence.
With a deal on the referendum now agreed with the UK Government, Alex Salmond said Scotland was the closest it had been for 300 years to becoming independent. He also claimed the country could afford to leave the UK, saying it paid more in taxes than it received in spending.
Mr Salmond held up a copy of the Edinburgh Agreement he signed with Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, paving the way for the historic vote on the country's future as he opened the Scottish National Party (SNP) annual conference in Perth. He told activists: "Make no mistake, we intend to win this referendum for Scotland."
The First Minister went on to state: "Conference, in 2014 the nonsense ends."
His quote came from a poem written by George Robertson - brother of former Hearts footballer John Robertson - called The Nonsense Ends. Mr Salmond read the work, which speaks about not being "content with just a devolved parliament" and says "our day is coming", before ending with the line: "In 2014 the nonsense ends."
But a new poll published on the first day of the conference showed fewer than a third of Scots favour independence. Research by Ipsos Mori for The Times found 30% agreed Scotland should be independent, with 58% opposed and 12% undecided.
With the deal on the staging on the referendum now agreed, Mr Salmond said: "We're now closer to our goal of Scottish independence, not just in the 80 years of SNP history, but over the last 300 years. That's what awaits the people of Scotland in two years' time."
Earlier on Thursday, Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she believed Scots would opt for independence when given the chance at the ballot box.
She cited polling evidence which suggested almost two-thirds of Scots thought the SNP administration was "better at making decisions for Scotland". A YouGov poll, commissioned by the Nationalists, found 64% of those surveyed believed this, compared to 24% who thought the UK Government was better.
Ms Sturgeon said: "A Yes vote is there to be won, and I believe will be won in two years' time. We know that a clear majority of people in Scotland believe that the Scottish Government is better at making decisions for Scotland than Westminster - by 64% to 24% - which is an essential foundation of the case for independence, and is also testament to the success of the degree of independence offered to us by devolution."