It is believed that sometimes stuff occurs to you when you’re doing the most unlikely or relaxing things – e.g. the displacement theory that came to Archimedes in an “Eureka!” moment whilst he was wallowing in the bath and enabled him to determine whether a royal trophy was made of solid gold or not – and mine yesterday occurred when I was midway through preparing my lunch of a pair of avocados with Aged Modena balsamic vinegar accompaniment.
One of the arguments first run by Remainers during the 2106 EU Referendum campaign and these days being deployed in furtherance of demands for a Second Referendum (or “People’s Vote”) upon any eventual Brexit deal – if ever our wonderful politicians manage to devise and agree upon one enough to vote it through – is that the current voting age of 18 should have been lowered to 16.
The theory was born of the conviction that – if ever the country completely lost its marbles and voted the ‘wrong’ way (i.e. to Leave) – the unintelligent and/or stupid electorate, who at the time didn’t understand the complexities of what a Brexit would actually mean (and anyway were duped by dastardly and false claims on the subject by every man jack involved in the “Vote Leave” campaign) would overnight bugger the life chances of the younger generation to come.
I even heard a gentleman on the television the other day offering in justificatory support of his own demand for “People’s Vote” the assertion that Remainers would undoubtedly win any Second Brexit Referendum because approximately another 1.7 million teens – all of them clearly rabid Remainers – would have reached the age of 18 by the time any such poll could be organised once decreed.
Occasionally when one hears people spouting in public one wonders whether they’re actually listening to what they’re saying, or indeed possess the mental capacity, common sense and will to have thought things through properly before they ever took to the media airwaves.
On the theory that those whose future will be irretrievably set off running down a path to Armageddon accompanied by untold amounts of uncertainty, pain and stress – never mind Third World-style poverty – ought, or rather must, be given a vote … what about the rights of those others who might well have their future blighted by votes cast ‘on the hoof’ by hordes of still-pubescent, spotty, nerdy, sullen, juvenile, social media-influenced, hormone-fuelled, possibly ‘skunk’-cannabis addled, teenagers if the voting age was ever reduced to 16?
Yes, I’m taking about our real ‘future’, the three and four years olds all over the UK still in pre-kindergarten-style creches and playgroups who, each new day that dawns, are learning (proportionately) more about the world around them than a sexagenarian like me manages to take on board – and then retain – in a month of Sundays?
Surely it makes sense …?
It was about that point, just after registering that I might have come across a revelation of veritable seismic implications for the world that I happened to alight upon this report by Josh Gabbitas, science correspondent, upon the website of – THE INDEPENDENT