Adrian Elliott's article ought to have been based upon an in-depth analysis of exam papers, in a range of different subjects. Instead, it is just too vague and anecdotal.
If you have not read or spoken a word of French since your O-level, a nine-year-old may actually have a better knowledge of French than you do, but that does not, in itself, prove that GCSE French is harder than the old O-level paper.
However, when a group of modern young people experienced what it was like to be at a grammar school in the 1950s on Channel 4's That'll Teach 'Em, some said, quite openly, that they thought the old O-level papers were much more difficult than today's GCSE papers. As this group of youngsters were able to make valid comparisons, I would have thought that their opinions were worth listening to.
From the forums (www.tes.co.ukmyths).