On one level, it is of course hilarious that, just as Mitt Romney can only prevent his impending electoral defeat from turning into an utter humiliation by giving the Randian fringe Paul Ryan to turn out and vote for, so Alex Salmond can only prevent his impending referendum defeat from turning into an utter humiliation by dragooning children, if no one else, into voting his way.
But even a superbly well-educated 16-year-old is still a 16-year-old. Lowering the voting age even further would pose a very serious threat to democracy, since no one seriously imagines that the opinion of a 16-year-old matters as much as that of his Head Teacher, or his doctor, or his mother. So why, it would be asked unanswerably, should each of them have only as many votes as he had? Thus would the process start.
Harold Wilson probably thought that he might gain some advantage from lowering the voting age. But in fact the Sixties Swingers hated him, and they handed the 1970 Election to Ted Heath. They did so to no one’s surprise more than Heath’s and his party’s, and they did so because, after Selsdon and all that, the Swingers had thought that he was going to entrench economically their own moral, social and cultural irresponsibility and viciousness.
As it turned out, they had to wait another nine years. But they did it in the end. By voting Conservative.