Real question for Muirfield is its conception of democracy rather than sexism

I COULD not quite believe the total over-reaction of some of our politicians and others to the decision by Muirfield members not to allow women to become members.

Nicola Sturgeon says it is “indefensible”, Iain Gray says it is a “disaster” for the area and George Kerevan is “outraged”!

Calm down! The decision made by the members is a decision they are perfectly entitled to make in a society in which we live where, thank goodness, choices can be made. It is also a society where the aforementioned names are able to express their “outrage” without fear or favour.

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The members at Muirfield can make whatever decision they wish as a “private members club” and I hope all clubs can do the same, like “women only” health clubs.

The real issue that should be considered is one of democracy.

Two hundred and nineteen members apparently voted “no” to women members equating to 36 per cent of those voting as opposed to 64 per cent who voted “yes” to women members. The issue therefore that needs to be addressed is the Muirfield Constitution which allows for such a majority in favour of women members to be defeated.

Richard Allison

Braehead Loan, Edinburgh

Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”. For the benefit of Nicola Sturgeon, allow me to explain that this right enshrines a fundamental freedom.

One may form a voluntary society of people according to whatever criteria one wishes. Women’s book groups, elderly people’s holiday clubs, young professionals social networks, a religious group, or whatever – including a men’s golf club. Our First Minister regards it as her official function to tell a group of men that they should not gather together in a men’s golf club.

The instinct of the SNP to poke its nose into every aspect of our lives knows no bounds.

Richard Lucas

Broomyknowe, Colinton, Edinburgh