MANY people in their old age make up a bucket list of things they want to do, or to achieve, or places to visit before they die. I think the Scottish Government should have a bucket list also drawn up of things to do, or obtain, before independence.

The most important of which is the returning to Scottish law the 6000 square miles of territorial waters, transferred to English law by Tony Blair and his accomplice, the late Donald “Duck the issue” Dewar. This was done back in Labour’s heyday and was meant to destroy part of the Scottish economy if Scotland went for independence, which they both truly believed was on the cards. The plan being that if Scotland went independent, the then English Navy could sail up into these now English legal waters and commandeer the oil rigs.

This is in my opinion is the reason for this hurried-through, last-gasp bill. I questioned the late Gordon Wilson, asking what the SNP was doing about this blatant robbery of our territorial waters, and he assured me that moves were afoot to regain our rightful legal position. Sadly I will never know if anything was done by Gordon, or any of the many legal beagles of which there are plenty in the SNP. Gordon is sadly gone, and these waters are still under English law, up as far as Carnoustie.

This is, or should be, number one on the bucket list. Don’t wait till after independence, and watch the Royal English Navy sail up thumbing their noses at you, and stealing every drop of Scotland’s oil, which may lie within the territory of this seasick confidence trick. This trickery must be exposed, and rescinded, and like Berwick on Tweed, be returned to Scotland.

Iain Ramsay

ISN’T Theresa May refusing to stop the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia in the face of that state’s outrageous brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi the grossest insult she could perpetrate on British and particularly Scottish standards of conduct?

Doesn’t acknowledging Saudi Arabia’s fault and refusing to ban arm sales smack of nothing more than preserving the profits of Tory party business “pals” who likely support and fund them?

Haven’t we suffered the inhumanity of the Saudi regime over many years and watched while it breached the human rights of its own citizens and waging war over its borders, killing civilians, including children and laying waste to vast tracts of foreign soil?

Isn’t it long overdue for the excesses of the Saudis to be reined in, and isn’t the best way to do that to cease supplying arms as a statement of how unacceptable their conduct is? Yes, they may turn elsewhere for arms, but couldn’t they do that anyhow on a whim?

If we have any principles left in these islands, shouldn’t we not hesitate to make a stand against naked brutality?

And if Britain refuses to do this now, isn’t this just the latest in a long list of examples where the standards of Scotland are higher,and we need full independence sowe can reflect our standards in our own society, built on observing human rights and peace?

Jim Taylor

READ MORE: Theresa May not ending sales to Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi murder

TOM Devine’s article in the National on Wednesday (Ministers must end Scotland’s planning scandal, October 24) only covers one drawback of the current planning system. The opportunity to capture the rise in value of land resulting from planning permission was missed in 1947.

The Scottish people would benefit not only from a bigger say in planning decisions but a bigger share of the wealth attached to land values currently reaped by speculative house builders, upon getting planning permission. No amount of tweaking of the system will give as much benefit as land reform and local government reform. Yes, we could have an appeal right given to the community, but the community should be also be more engaged in the local planning process.

It is easy to get worked up about outrageous proposals, but as important is the lack of suitable proposals. We need developments now that are popular, local andwell-designed that can house our people and satisfy the demand for places of work, healthcare and education.

Peter Caunt
Heriot, Midlothian

READ MORE: Tom Devine: Ministers must end Scotland's planning scandal​

IT is disappointing to see Ross Greer trying to jump on a bandwagon by criticising the Scottish Government for giving money to Raytheon. He ought to know that the donation was to enable the company to diversify away from arms manufacturing, quite unlike the similar support given by Welsh Labour to Raytheon at Wrexham, which came with no strings attached.

We all know that Ross is desperate to make his name as a politician but surely not as the person who tried to outbid Annie Wells, Jamie Greene and Alex Cole-Hamilton as the least well-informed critic of the Scottish Government.

Andrew M Fraser