I READ Michael Russell’s article titled “The time to turbocharge land reform” (Aug 26). What Mr Russell proposes is the adoption of well-trodden and increasingly discredited, bureaucratic drivel.

Rather than turbocharging land reform, it is flatulence in a trance.

Over the many years in which I have tried to cajole government ministers and their parliamentary support acts to discuss the use of land as the primary source of public funding, I feel that I would have had more success recruiting them as candidates for the Order of Trappists.

While thousands of SNP members have eagerly embraced the concept, the failure of our elected representatives to enter a dialogue is a curiosity.

READ MORE: Michael Russell backs Labour MSP's calls for land reform bill change

As a man of considerable intellectual weight and genuine concern for our people and our land, perhaps Mr Russell might answer through his next column these basic questions:

1. Why does Mr Russell support an increase in the Scottish Land Fund to buy out landowners when the introduction of a form of Annual Ground Rent will have these very landowners queuing up to give much of the land away without any public subsidy, which is the modern equivalent of slavery compensation?

2. Does Mr Russell not appreciate that the paucity of the ambition inherent in the proposals outlined by him means that no-one alive today will witness a Scotland where 50% of the people will own at least 50% of the land?

3. Why do the proposals ignore the fact that some foreign nationals who own land in Scotland have to pay tax to their home governments for their Scottish landholdings when our government charges them nothing?

READ MORE: Scottish Labour have 'presumption against' any income tax increase

4. Why is Mr Russell so enamoured with a Land Commission which, despite its remit to examine land as a source of addressing poverty, has neither said nor done anything bordering on the useful to lift people out of poverty? Mr Russell might ask the commissioners why they don’t engage with the World Bank’s work on the relationship between land ownership and poverty, or the IMF’s acknowledgement that land as a source of public funding can pay a government’s programme in full.

5. Finally why, like all products of a political system where harsh words about the public sector are best unsaid, does Mr Russell not act on the one piece of useful information which the Land Commission unearthed, that about 60% of all dilapidated and vacant land in urban Scotland is owned by the public sector, and has denied so many of our people decent homes and places to work and play for generations?

I fear that the answers we shall receive will be eloquent in their composition but empty in their defence. There is no defence.

Annual Ground Rent on all land and property is essential to the successful prosecution of the case for and achieving independence.

The failure of those who have had the power to introduce this reform makes one wonder how serious they are about our liberation.

Graeme McCormick
Arden by Loch Lomond

SIMPLE question for those who argue against wealth tax. Since most “working” people are already fully taxed to the point of reducing their spending and saving ability, how do the tax cutters and avoiders propose paying for the public services that we all enjoy – including the wealthy? If extra expenditure is required for those services and necessary infrastructure, where is the money to come from?

READ MORE: Richard Murphy: Why the UK should NOT bring in a wealth tax

The elephant in their minds is that what tax cutting actually means is reducing the scope and extent of public services – but they are too feart to say that out loud.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire