In South Africa, before the first 'free and fair' elections in 1994, new customs had to be accommodated - or maybe I should say old customs. Basically, through years of apartheid, black South Africans had been allowed no freedom of expression and, as protests became legalised in the early 90s, a new code of acceptable political behaviour was written.
One of the more controversial topics at the time was that of 'cultural weapons'. Tribal Africans believe in their right to carry traditional arms as a means of demonstrating their strength when making a political point. They were not (necessarily) to be used as weapons, but rather for show. Think All Blacks doing a hakka before a rugby international and you'll get the idea.
In principle this all sounds fine. That is until you're faced with 3000 angry Zulus wielding pangas and knobkerries. But, I digress. Cultural weapons were (and are), controversially, tolerated in South Africa as long as they do not lead to violence.
So what has this to do with Scotland, you ask. Well, in yesterday's Herald an article caught my eye. A man entered a polling station and in a most unsporting fashion destroyed ballot boxes and informational posters before being dragged off to court. His cultural weapon of choice (and bear in mind he is Scottish now)... the golf club. He was being charged with, and I quote,'breach of the peace, vandalism, possession of an offensive weapon...' An offensive golf club??? In Scotland??? Did it have a Union Jack emblazoned on its grip?
Still, Holyrood had better watch out. The golfers are getting restless!