The MP and MSP are asked, too, if they personally believe the absence of a Sunday ferry and Sunday amenities like the Lewis Sports Centre is discriminatory and against the law.
Two weeks ago, Caledonian MacBrayne claimed they had no option but to start a Sunday ferry service after taking legal advice, following a complaint by a pro-Sunday service campaigner to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. CalMac's plans are opposed by the Islands Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
The company have refused to make their legal advice public.
'We're facing a threat to our way of life here on Lewis that many have yet to appreciate,' says local LDOS campaign manager Angus MacKay,'If a Sunday ferry service starts, it'll never be stopped. It'll change the island quickly, it will change it irreversibly and the worst consequences will fall on shopworkers, folk in the service sector and the less well of.
'There wasn't a mention of Sunday ferries in any SNP manifesto - a lot of island Christians voted for Alasdair and Angus. There's no electoral mandate - and CalMac say they'll force it on us whether we want it or not.
'Do Alasdair Allan and Angus MacNeil unequivocally oppose a Sunday ferry service from Stornoway?
'And do they agree with CalMac's interpretation of the law?'
'We're now giving Alasdair and Angus twenty-four hours to answer and, as far as we're concerned, neutrality is not an option. It's time for our politicians to decide.
'And, with an election this Thursday, folk here need to know where they stand from men who're out there right now in the Western Isles campaigning for SNP votes.'
Gazette story (by Donnie MacInnes)
Mr MacNeil stated today (Monday): "My position on Sunday sailings to Lewis is quite nuanced on this complex argument not given to easy slogans or one word answers. At the outset I should say that I have had only one representation to my office on this issue since CalMac announced their consultation and that request was in favour of Sunday sailings to and from Stornoway."
He went on: "During summer 1990, as a 20 year old, I worked 68 hours a week at the Holm Jetty with Edmund Nuttall Ltd with the only day off being Sunday. Thus, each Sunday afternoon I used to be very grateful for Sunday as it was in Lewis.
"However, I have at times on a Sunday used ferries, often because no Saturday or Monday ferry was available - as well as used cars and probably aeroplanes. It would be hypocritical of me to pretend otherwise. I have also been fortunate in not needing, due to illness or death, to use the Sound of Harris ferry on a Sunday and have avoided more casual use out of respect for my many constituents for whom Sunday is a very special day.
"Personally, like many people, I find this a difficult issue as I have constituents, good friends and acquaintances who want to protect the Lord's Day as being the special relaxed family day it actually is for many in Lewis whether or not they are religious who those who want Sunday sailings to Lewis for very practical reasons.
"In short, if there is one issue that is not best served by mega-phone diplomacy or sound bite politics it is surely this one. Nobody has asked, as yet, to meet me on this issue. If they do, I would be happy to meet with the Lord's Day Observance Society or any other group who feels that it might be useful to talk about the CalMac consultation," said Mr MacNeil.
In his response, Mr Allan stated: "CalMac has announced that, following legal advice, they intend to consult with the community over the future of ferry services in Lewis and Harris.
"This is an operational matter for CalMac, not political parties or their representatives. CalMac's view is that, under the UK Equalities Act 2006, they believe they are compelled to open this consultation, a belief which others are challenging.
"Personally, I would have preferred that any discussion of this kind had arisen from within the community, rather than been imposed from outside under a piece of UK legislation. However, both sides will now have an opportunity to make their views known to CalMac, and I would urge them to make use of the consultation process to the full. I would also urge CalMac to make the consultation a genuinely listening exercise.
"Finally, I would also expect CalMac to clarify that, whatever they do, in no circumstances should any of their employees be expected to work on a Sunday against their consciences.
"I have written to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to ask what form they hope their part in the consultation will take," he added.
Compare that to a press release from: Thursday 14th May 2009
ALLAN COMMENTS ON CALMAC CONSULTATION ON SEVEN DAY FERRIES
Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, has commented on the announcement by Caledonian MacBrayne that they are to consult on the implications of equalities legislation for ferry services in Lewis and Harris.
Dr Allan said: “I have now seen CalMac’s announcement that, following legal advice, they intend to consult with the community over the future of ferry services in Lewis and Harris.
“Calmac have announced that, under the UK Equalities Act 2006, they believe they are compelled to open this consultation.
“Personally I would have preferred that any discussion of this kind had arisen from within the community, rather than been imposed from outside under a piece of legislation.
However, both sides will now have an opportunity to make their views known to Calmac, and I would urge them to make use of the consultation process to the full. I would also urge Calmac to make the consultation a genuinely listening exercise.
“I would also expect Calmac to clarify that, whatever they do, in no circumstances should any of their employees be expected to work on a Sunday against their consciences.
“I have today written to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to ask what form they hope their part in the consultation will take, and whether they intend to try to measure public opinion in the islands on this issue.”