Friday 30 May 2003

Fair play

In the good old days the Glasgow Herald was the confident voice of the West of Scotland capitalist class. Now, sadly, nothing escapes the Herald's love affair with regulatory interference.

Over in St Andrews the Royal & Ancient Golf Club has announced a revised structure under which the governance of golf and the organising of tournaments will be undertaken by a new body that will be open to both men and women. Both sexes will now be represented in the game's rule-making authority as is right and proper. But the Herald is not happy, for although the new governing body of golf will now be open to women membership, the Club itself will remain men only (second editorial):

But, as far as club membership is concerned, the R&A will be as discriminatory as before. The club does not, and will not in the future, allow women members, a rule that treats them as second-class citizens.

No it does not.

"Citizens" (or, in our case, subjects) certainly do deserve equality before the law but a golf club is not a government and private clubs have complete freedom to set their own rules in any civilised society. The Herald should not conflate that which is public and that which is private. On second thoughts, though, wouldn't it be an improvement if the Royal & Ancient were to take over the governance of the whole of Scotland?