Wee Eck, in his personal life is a rather admirable man. He retired from front-line politics to look after his sick wife. He’s reported to be amusing company, and has many friends amongst political opponents. He’s a fearsome debater and a shrewd politician. However he is also an absolutely shameless operator. He knows he has one shot at an independence referendum, which will put the issue to bed for a generation. He knows that losing the referendum risks fracturing his party from those who will respect the result, from those who won’t.
He is therefore seeking to rig the plebiscite First by asking a clearly leading question, second by setting the date (rather pathetically) to coincide with the anniversary of Bannockburn, and immediately after the commonwealth Games, in which, unlike the Olympics, Scotland will compete as a separate nation to England. He must be devastated that Sir Chris Hoy has retired, and remains a unionist. On each issue, the SNP has attempted to secure the maximum likelihood of a “yes” vote, without consideration for whether this is right, fair, or reasonable, and when called out on this, usually by the independent Electoral Commission, the SNP cry ‘Foul’, having the rather chippy attitude that anything other than their view is “English arrogance”.
Finally, the SNP have decided that 16-year olds should be allowed to vote, on the basis that they are slightly more likely to agree with the SNP than the general population. There is no principle to this whatsoever. Indeed, Salmond openly considered raising the age at which scots can buy alcohol from 18 to 21, suggesting he thinks they’re mature enough to vote, get married and have sex, but not mature enough to have a beer on the way to the marital bed or polling station. Either that, or it’s rank hypocrisy.
It’s a nakedly partisan move, contrary to almost all countries around the world who enjoy universal suffrage. Only in Bosnia Herzegovina (if employed), Austria, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man can spotty 16-year olds vote. A handful of countries, including Indonesia and (hilariously) North Korea allow votes at 17. Everywhere else on earth has the voting age 18 or higher. The SNP should not be allowed to choose their electorate for party political advantage. To do so smacks of banana republic, not the nation of Adam Smith and David Hume.
Have you met any teenagers? They know nothing. They’re swayed by emotional arguments and have no experience of life on which to base the tough decisions of politics. They do not read papers, preferring to sit in dark rooms, masturbating furiously and sleeping. If Alec Salmond wants Scottish independence because some spotty herberts saw ‘Braveheart’ once, great. I’m just disappointed the UK Government fell for it.