In “Lawyers do not have all the answers” (Letters, 27 June), the lawyers’ case is criticised for not having all the answers on questions such as the EU, currency and many other factors which will affect an independent Scotland. But such bottom-up analysis is difficult and suffers from “garbage in, garbage out”. There is a lot of garbage around.
Fortunately, there are other methods of looking at complex problems. A powerful one is experiment, such as Galileo dropping a large and a small ball from the leaning tower of Pisa, or more expensively Cern’s verification of Peter Higgs’ theory. Unfortunately, we were denied the experiment of devo-max by the Edinburgh Agreement.
Another method is observation of similar systems with correction for differences. This is notably employed in biology and medicine to the dismay of many a mouse or chimp.
Fortunately, Scotland will not be the only small independent country in northern Europe so there is no shortage of comparative material.
Maybe the lawyers noted that in most performance tables the small northern European countries come out tops. Even Ireland was top in the last one reported in The Scotsman, with Finland and Switzerland next, China, the UK, and other big countries much lower down. Joyce McMillan wrote on Denmark being top in the happiness stakes. Luxembourg is near the top of the GDP per capita stakes even though led for 19 years by Jean-Claude Junker.
I think the lawyers have enough evidence for their assertion that “independence will bring a fairer and more prosperous country” even if Alex Salmond is voted in as First Minister again in 2016.
West Acres Drive