YOUR report “Shocking rise in Scots drug death figures for 2019” (October 17) makes disturbing reading. What is not clear is whether the drugs are being produced in the UK or are being illegally imported.

If the drugs are being produced in Scotland then it is the responsibility of the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, with the help and cooperation of local communities, to increase their efforts to reduce the supply.

READ MORE: SNP conference votes for drugs law to be devolved

If any of the drugs are being imported then the responsibility is with the Border Control Agency. As this is not a devolved matter then it is the sole responsibility of the UK Government’s Home Office, which would appear to be in constant turmoil.

It is essential that the scourge of illegal drugs is tackled and if it requires cooperation across the political spectrum then this must be the priority – people are much more important than politics.

Thomas L Inglis

I AM saddened by the letter from Julia Pannell on a Plan B (October 13). Her lack of trust in Nicola Sturgeon may be natural, as many new members in today’s SNP see simple solutions to everything.

I am now 84 and have been in the SNP for 53 years; in that time I have seen the movement ebbing and flowing as time goes on, and many hearts broken as a result – they do not die, but seek other champions. I have never ebbed! Calling for a Plan B is a Vote of no confidence in Nicola Sturgeon. I am convinced there is a Plan B, probably C, D and E as well, as the SNP will cover all the bases, but better keep schtum about them as our opponents will rip any plan to shreds. As Napoleon is alleged to have said: “never tell your enemy he is making a mistake.”

How Nicola can keep a cool head in the most unpredictable political situation I have ever seen in my life I do not know, but I trust her implicitly. I hope to hang on for a few years in the hope of seeing independence (not anxious to leave anyway), but independence is for all of Scotland, not just for an old buffer past his sell-by date.

Jim Lynch

JULIA Pannell (Letters, October 17) writes to say that she was reluctant to write in case it validated comments I made about her. Would these be the comments I made to agree with comments she herself made that she was not a “Unionist plant” or a “fifth columnist”? Now we can read a detailed list of the commitment Ms Pannell has to the independence movement, for which I salute her. Can she now add a few other qualities, such as strategic nous, discretion and pragmatic loyalty?

Douglas Turner

LIKE Lesley Riddoch, I wonder when the Scottish Government will raise their sights above the managerial (Why I said I might set up a new party to challenge SNP, October 17). In my time I’ve proposed several resolutions at SNP conferences, usually in favour of some relatively radical change. Most of them were passed.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Why I might make a new party after indyref2

Two issues broached in recent years (one about taxing unproductive/undeveloped land and one about introducing wage ratio legislation) were passed unanimously, with no speakers against. Although wage legislation within the private sector is still reserved to Westminster, it is already in the power of the devolved government to take some steps with regard to both these policies.

National conference is still supposed to be a policy-making body. I wonder what action has been taken in response to these brave decisions.

Mary McCabe