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

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sports Centre

At the grand (very delayed) opening of the Sports Centre yesterday, the most important statement came from SportScotland.

There will be no more grants for any sports facilities in the Western Isles unless they open seven days a week.

Harris Golf Club have been refused SportScotland for this reason.

Whatever your view on the rights or wrongs, this is definitely the thin end of the wedge.


Anonymous said...

Game on!

The grants gravy train needs to be disrailed and the communities need to move into the 21st century - i.e Sunday opening

Anonymous said...

Here here & hooray to Sports Scotland! This is a significant and hugely sensible breakthrough. Nae mare grants may just be the lever required by those in the corridors of power.

We have quite incredible facilites here on our doorsteps which are open and accesible to families (where parents are working on weekdays and kids are at school) for only 50% of their valuable weekend family time.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! It's about time Sport Scotland et al used their influence to end this misuse of public money. If limitations of use are allowed on grants made to us, then other people will start doing the same.
Equality good good good. That news has cheered me up no end! {:-)

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute!
I am totally in favour of Sunday access to sports facilities, but some unelected, Central Belt controlled body telling the people of the Western Isles how they should do things??
Change will come, but not because we are being held to ransom.

Anonymous said...

12:04, We're asking the unelected, Central Belt controlled body for public money for Sports. If they want to say "You must have this open 7 days a week" then so mote it be.

Ask a bank etc. for a loan and they will impose conditions on it. It's the same thing.

Perhaps chnage needs to enforced in some areas from the outside and this will act a lubrication for other things.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see the similarity between commercial conditions imposed by a bank to protect its shareholders interests, (I know, it doesn't seem funny till you write it down), and spurious conditions imposed on the spending of tax payers money.

Anonymous said...

This is the cop out toad of Toad Hall needs. he can open the Sports facilities and blame Sports Scotland.

Actually look at the opportunities for part time employment for older students and some welcome cash.

Oh boy I am going to enjoy this one.

Anonymous said...

12.43 and 1.31

Access to taxpayers money is a not a right, something that seems to escape many people on this island.

Why should my taxes be used to support prejudicial practices, against my interests and the interests of others.

If you don't like the system, don't participate, and try working for what you need instead of begging.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't like the system, don't participate, and try working for what you need instead of begging."

Well said. The economy of this island has for far to long been grant lead.

Angus said...

This article in GolfOnline uses a picture of Yell, Shetland Isles.

Who said the rest of the world is out of touch.....

Anonymous said...

Apparently our MSP is protesting - I've written to him saying I support SportScotland in this decision and I suggest others do the same.


Anonymous said...

Our MP is protesting about the SportScotland decison and him living on an island with seven day sports facilities, pubs and saunas.

Personally I think he has been too long in the den of iniquity and sin that is Westminster, and he needs to spend more time on the croft.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that our illustrious MP should swot up on equalities legislation before opening said gob.

There's no heavy handedness about it, it is the LAW... Still when has that ever stopped him.....

Anonymous said...

Sunday golf would be good for those who want do it, good for the economy of Lewis and Harris, good for the sustainability of the two golf clubs concerned and good for health and wellbeing.

Remind us of the down-side Angus - MacNeil?

Or maybe he's arguing a point of principle - that influential people (and it matters not whether they are in the minority or the majority) should be able to deny others their reasonable rights and choices?

Anonymous said...

Has no one else noticed the main point in this story - it's not the fact that they should or shouldn't be open on a Sunday, it's the fact that some "unelected, Central Belt controlled body" are blackmailing the communities of the Islands to get what they want. They know that we need the money from them and so decided to force their ideas and demands on us.

At a time when our economy is weakened by the terrible fincanical situation in the country at the moment, such organisations as SportsScotland should be ashamed that they are refusing to give money on the basis that facilities aren't open on a Sunday.

Yes getting access to taxpayers money is a privilege and we have been more than lucky up here to get as much as we do, but asking people who live on what is still quite a religious Island to forget all that is proposterous.

I say we stand up for ourselves for once and say No, we won't open on a Sunday. I'd rather do bag packing in the Co-Op for the rest of my life to get the money for the Sporting Facilities than bow down to them and their stupid demands.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does MacNeil's anger about the Harris Golf Club seem almost genuine??

It's almost like he wrote the press release without clearing it with SNP HQ first, and was really demanding action.

Anyone know where Tintin stands on the issue?

Anonymous said...

10.24..... you may prefer to be packing in the co-op for the rest of your life, but most of us wouldn't.

Like some others I do find it an uncomfortable situation that an unelected central-belt body would seem to be calling the shots. However presumably they're motivated by economics, not theology (correct me if you know otherwise) and, you know, are insisting that we abide by the law. It's a turn up for the books that SportsScotland should be the ones to go to battle, but I don't see they have any choice. In general we get away with far too much thinking that the rules don't apply to us because we're "special".

And so the discomfort and weirdness here is genuine, but blamed on the wrong body: it's not SportScotland who are overstepping their remit, it's the bloody comhairle, by ignoring law, fairness and human rights and pandering to a section of the community on some vague notion of "tradition". It's a measure of how stuck we are that even if we support Sunday openings, we (and I include myself in this) might feel some resentment at being dictated to..... better our local incompetence than a firm hand from someone outside?

It's always unpleasant at the time, and I don't for a minute mean that we should be run from the outside, but occasional intervention is the only thing that breaks through the insularity that keeps us going round in ever decreasing circles.

I'm hopeful. Even if the money is lost this time (and our image is tarnished further), the tide is turning.

Anonymous said...

perhaps they wont fund jewish or muslim resteraunts unless they start serving pork...
p.s could anon 3.45 PLEASE explain why the view of those who wish to keep sunday special is predudicial and the view of those who want to see it ruined on this island is not...?

Anonymous said...

We live in a land of equality. Religion is the cause of all the worlds problems - just look at Gaza.

So why should Sportsscotland hand out tax payers money to folk who are putting in place religious constraints?

I think the majority of UK taxpayers would be against their cash being used in this way.

Anonymous said...

anon 1.25...

Well, let's see.

6dayers want to 1) do their Sunday thing and 2) stop me from doing my Sunday thing

7dayers want to 1) do their Sunday thing and 2) that's it.

That's the difference.

Anonymous said...

How many restaurants are funded by Sport Scotland! They are private enterprises that have to make money for themselves not wait for hand outs.

I fail to see how a round of golf and a game of Squish will ruin Sundays.

Anonymous said...


I would not stop you going to church, or having a day of rest, or not travelling.

Anonymous said...

This is about Choice.

If you don't want to play golf, do aerobics or have a drink on a Sunday then that is your choice but why should that then stop the growing majority of others who work their arses off 5 days a week and wouldn't mind a bit of relaxation time and choice on a Sunday.

SportScotland are not holding anyone to ransom. They are obeying equalities regulation and law which says that you mustn't discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion, race, sex or disability. This is the LAW. The LDOS and all the other religious do-gooders are breaking the law not just on the Sunday opening issue but on the grounds that you cannot obtain a civil ceremony up here and it is about time they were held to account for it.

Hands up to SportScotland and thumbs down to all the Sunday hypocrits who think it is ok to lock children and families behind closed doors on a Sunday and only be allowed out to worship.

If I had a business opportunity and had to choose to locate it here or anywhere else but my business needed to open 7 days per week, I would invest my money in the place where my business practice was welcomed. If you don't want to shop on a Sunday then don't come.

Anonymous said...

Rev ID Campbell LDOS : 'it's disappointing that an outside body should be determining people's customs particularly in this day and age of anti-discrimination.'

What's really disappointing and bordering on illegal is that the LDOS (an outside body) should be determining people's customs and practices in this age of anti-descrimination.

Anonymous said...

Back Football Club received grant from Sportscotland for a driving range which is being built at the moment. Presumably this will be available for use 7 days a week?

Anonymous said...

re previous comment on business locating to the islands.

In my work I deal with mainland businesses frequently. For some it is not an issue as they have no interest, but others have said that they would never think of developing over here because of the Sabbath issue.

We have real economic problems here as everyone is aware. I just don't think we can afford the luxury of loosing vital economic activity.

People could freely carry on observing the Sabbath just as they do on the mainland while everyone else gets on with their way of life.

Unknown said...

MCNeil is right about one thing
only - this is about more than Sunday golf. It's about attitudes and beliefs that are stunting the development of the island. By pleading for special treatment - equalities legislation shouldn't apply in the Western Isles or just Harris maybe? - he is pandering to these attitudes. We are special, we are not like other places we have our culture and traditions and make our own rules. Sportscotland should and I'm sure will ignore this hogwash. If Harris Golf Club or any other organisation want public money they need to play by the same rules as everyone else. Too many in positions of power in the island just dont get it. They don't see or dont want to see the the things that are holding back the island - and its not a lack of public money - its about attitudes.

One hand is held out for more public investment and the other hand a list of special conditions - a new ferry but it wont run on Sundays, a new Sports Centre but it wont open on Sundays, a better golf course but no play on Sundays. We want to develop tourism but resist any amenities being open on Sundays.

Such ridiculous demands and paradoxes show the ongoing and negative influence of church and religion on our public policies.