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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday sailings

I was in some premises today (which I won't identify) when a well-known gentleman - and I use the term very loosely - walked in and stormed up to the person at the front desk.

Thrusting a grubby scrap of paper into her face he bellowed, "Here! You'll sign this petition against Sunday sailings won't you."

When the woman politely indicated that she didn't want to, he turned on his heel and bellowed, "You're a funny one!" before stomping out ignoring all the other people in the premises who, needless to say, were appalled at the behaviour of this pious, Christian, misogynist.

As a direct result of this visit, these premises are now wholly supportive of Sunday ferries.


Anonymous said...

Is anyone doing a petition FOR Sunday sailings, well at least for Stornoway to Ulapool since we have the dreaded Skye- Uist-Harris-lewis link. What about it Angus ? we can use your office ;-)

Anonymous said...

Please do not confuse Christians with those who go to church religiously in the Isle of Lewis, are are opposed to everything!
Apparently a similar battle occured in the fifties when people started driving to church-imagine!!

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of bellowing.

But why hide the identity of the mysterious 'gentleman'? Protecting the innocent? Or just not brave enough to name and "shame".

Anonymous said...

They're fighting this battle on every front. Example from the Comhairle's planning system:

Anonymous said...

angus, think you should at least name the premises if not the 'gentleman in question' This man is doing no favours to his cause and from what you are saying he has succeeded in turning more against our tradional sunday.

Angus said...

The 'gentleman' in question lives near our office, and I really, really, don't want him to come back into our offices and harass my wife (for it was us).

There is often a thin line between extreme religiosity and madness...

Suffice to say that local residents will know the elderly 'Travis Bickle' of Stornoway.

Anonymous said...

the reason i asked you to be more precise is simple there are good and bad on both sides of this argument. I commend you on your honesty. I believe that our sunday here is very special but i also believe that the ordinary man on the street should be able to get on and off the island for whatever reason they see fit, whether selfish, personal or in a family emergency.
I understand the fear that our sunday will change forever but just the simple fact that a petrol station opens and the weekly clammer for fuel and whatever else at 3.30 pm every sunday proves that people need to be able to exercise their freedom of choice. If you are against sunday opening or the ability to travel then do not use it. As it stands the ordinary man unless he can afford weekly air fares, cannot leave, swim, play any sport, go to the cinema, buy a paper BUT can go out to eat, buy sweets and beverages or get as p*ssed as he/she likes. If the boundaries came down then the likes of this 'gentleman' would be as dead as the the last auk on scalpay.
My point being that we do not need to use any of these services on the sabbath unless we want to. I personally will not always want to but being the only day off we have as a family i have bought juice, crisps, wine and fuel on a sunday. And would from time to time if possible take the kids away on the weekend returning on the sunday with the car ready for work and school without using my holiday quota.

Anonymous said...

Our island has a unique traditional Sabbath, and many would like it to stay as it is. Obviously there are those who would wish to do away with the tradition of Sabbath observance on our island, but the evidence suggests that those who wish to do away with the Sabbath way of life, are not actually either from Lewis, or actually staying in Lewis. Take for example the letters page in last weeks gazette, there was 1 letter against sunday sailings, and 3 letters for. The one letter against was a local person staying in Stornoway, and the 3 against were all from "outsiders". We should not let those "outsiders" dictate to us how we should live our lives in Lewis. If there is going to be a debate on this, it should be a local debate, and any decissions should not be influenced by the opinion of those who don't even live on the Island.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:07 PM: You can say the same about the proposed wind farms on the Island. The majority of people who write in to the SNP rag is outsiders or so called intellectuals who have made their fortunes out of Gaelic TV.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:07

"Our island has a unique traditional Sabbath" - yes, that's one way of putting it!

"and many would like it to stay as it is."
Is that the majority of the population? Or the majority of the church?

"the evidence suggests that those who wish to do away with the Sabbath way of life, are not actually either from Lewis, or actually staying in Lewis."

What 'evidence' is that then, apart from 4 letters in the Gazette, which in themselves prove nothing of the sort?

"We should not let those "outsiders" dictate to us how we should live our lives in Lewis."

I was under the impression this has been happening since at the least the time of the Vikings. Even many of the decision makers and movers & shakers in the local council are "outsiders". It's this kind of insular attitude to the 'big bad world' that is keeping this island back. The Presbyterian malaise is the single largest factor, IMHO, contributing to the loss of the youth of the island, who seem quite happy to go and live among all those "outsiders". Or if they're not happy to go, at least they certainly feel the need to go.

anon 11:45

"You can say the same about the proposed wind farms on the Island. The majority of people who write in to the SNP rag is outsiders or so called intellectuals who have made their fortunes out of Gaelic TV."

That is shallow and misleading. As you well know, "locals" are not generally in the habit of writing to the Gazette or any other paper, even when they are very much against something like the LWP wind factory. I have lost count of how many "locals" I've spoken to who are very much against the industrialisation of the landscape, but you won't see their names in the Gazette. By implying that the objectors are largely "outsiders" and the odd Gaelic media darling, you are insulting the islanders as a whole.

From a "local"

Anonymous said...

In response to anon 9.07.

A poll conducted by MORI Scotland for BBC Scotland in Feb/March 2000 suggested that a majority of islanders favoured the introduction of Sunday ferry (and air) services.

MORI carried out telephone interviews with 750 residents aged 18 and over in Lewis and Harris about Sunday transport services and Sunday shopping.

61% said they either strongly supported or tended to support the introduction of Sunday ferry services (41% strongly supported, 20% tend to support). 24 % said they strongly opposed sailings, while 9% tended to oppose. 4% neither supported nor opposed, while 1% had no opinion.

Unless you believe this poll was deliberately 'fixed' (oh yes, some do) or have some other evidence to show that a majority of islanders now oppose sunday transport, the MORI poll - seven years ago - probably remains the most reliable measure of public opinion on the matter.

Your assertion that those who want the freedom to travel on Sundays are in effect 'aliens' takes one down a very slippery path which you should think hard about. The reality is that this debate is between people who want these changes and people who do not. I can offer no hard evidence for this but I suspect a fair proportion of people who have moved to the island and maybe have little family connection with the island are happy with the status quo. Equally , a fair proportion of those with families split between the island and elsewhere would welcome 7 day ferry services, for obvious reasons.

Anon 9.07 suggests that only people who live on the island (including 'incomers' I assume) are entitled to have a view on this issue. What about families of islanders living elsewhere? - or in fact anyone who considers themselves customers of CalMac - a publicly owned company subsidised by national taxpayers?

Maybe local maybe not - it matters not.

Anonymous said...

Morag Munro's Letter in this weeks Gazette put forward an educated argument for saving our Sunday.
The comments of the gentleman from Arvourlie Castle and Ms Jean Davies (defeated Lib-Dem candidate)are from people far removed from the heritage of Lewis and Harris. Such people having chosen to live in our midst should so respect for our heritage.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that someone (and his staff) who was "in the top echelon of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar" could have his ideals influenced ("...had the effect of making me more anti-Sabbatarian than before") by an old bodach who happens to upset people in his office. I know next time what to do if you get into the Council again. If I want you to vote on "black", I'll send a grumpy old bodach in with a "white" petition. The joys of local politics!!