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In her book, The Road to Middlemarch: My Life With George Eliot, Rebecca Mead writes: “There were rudimentary discussions of leftist politics that I understood in a cursory way and believed in with the fervour of ignorance.”

This is the description of an enquiring 17-year-old who was studying – successfully – to gain entry to Oxford University.

Personal experience is 
rarely a reliable guide but I would venture to say that my own acquaintance over the years with 16- and 17- year-olds 
would yield the view that not many would show an interest in or understanding of politics even to the level described above.

I therefore surprisingly find myself in agreement with David Cameron (your report, 3 February) in that I do not agree with extending the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds.

And I certainly do not 
understand how a party 
could support such a move but on the other hand believe that the same group needs a state “guardian” to look after its 
interests.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh