Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson seems a super individual in so many ways. Scottish Tories, like Alex Massie, provide Scottish unionism – of both right and left – with its only serious intellectual ballast. And the Tories have done so terribly well of late, with Davidson having very serious de facto powers of government. Some people are even asking if the snobbery, prejudice and lazily-assumed social superiority of Scottish Conservative supporters is a thing of the past.
Muirfield is the answer. The letter from the club to members prior to the failed vote to admit women argued: “A traditional resistance to change is one of the foundations of our unique position in golf and our reputation”. BBC golfing codger Peter Alliss, defending naked human discrimination, said; “I believe clubs were formed years ago by people of like spirit: doctors, lawyers, accountants, bakers, butchers, whatever they like. And they joined in like spirit to talk amongst them and to do whatever”.
Women, people who aren’t white, gay people, insert your own majority or minority group. For Muirfield, a traditional resistance to equality and fairness is something to be proud of. For Alliss, if a club’s members want to exercise their God-given right to be sexist, racist or in any other way discriminatory – well good for them.
We know what Muirfield and Alliss mean by ‘people of like spirit’. They mean ‘old Tories like us’ discriminating against anyone they choose.
Muirfield, not Ruth Davidson, is Scottish Conservatism today. The same as it ever was.