Dazed and confused with Tim Davey: Be careful what you wish for
THERE was a degree of undisguised euphoria around the Davey household when it gathered together for a family meal last weekend. Particularly amongst the younger element seated around the dining table, on the rare moments they could pull themselves away from watching the telly in an adjoining room, playing a computer game or mobile-phone texting to actually eat something, that is.
They could not disguise their delight at the revelation that soon, if Parliament continues its crazy helter skelter towards ever more youthful political freedoms, they will be eligible to vote.
More than 100 MPs agreed that the voting age could sensibly be reduced to include 16- and 17-year-olds.
Should this actually become law it would mean my eldest grandson at 13-and-a-bit is now just two and a half years from having a say in his nation's destiny.
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He'll have no responsibility, of course. Certainly not fiscally speaking as he most definitely won't be contributing towards any taxes, save the increased rate of VAT the Coalition have lumped on his PS3, iPod, and the like.
But no matter. He deserves to be heard, obviously.
It got me thinking, too, what I would be voting for if someone had rashly given me such electoral privileges when I was his age.
Lowering the age of drinking in pubs and bars would be one.
Lowering the age you can legally drive a car would be another.
Getting paid to go to school would be good, along with scrapping uniforms and those iniquitous detentions.
Free bus travel like the old people, no TV licence and longer school holidays would be nice, too.
All nonsense, of course.
But what if the teens took over our world. That en masse they elected teenage MPs on platforms like that?
It's not that stupid a thought. because once you bring in legislation that chips away at lowering any age qualification you are in danger of shooting yourself in the foot.
Where do you stop?
What about voting rights for 15-year-olds? Or at 14? Or primary school youngsters?
In fact I'm sure my three-year-old granddaughter would like some sort of input. Free ice creams for the under-fives, that sort of thing.
Before you know it you could have a Prime Minister who has barely started shaving and could still sing the theme from The Snowman.
Then with our crowded sceptred isle in the grip of a massive political youth movement the nightmare for the fortysomethings would be that age would become a real issue, methinks.
So to all those MPs who have enthusiastically embraced the parliamentary youth ticket I'd be inclined to say, just be very careful what you wish for...