Muddy Waters

Those who are interested can read the text of the Sheriff’s judgement in the Stornoway Golf Club’s successful appeal against the Western Isles Licensing Board’s refusal of their Sunday license application over on Iain MacIver’s blog.

Iain MacIver also reports, slightly worryingly, that one of the board members would vote against the golf club’s application again – even in light of the board’s decision having been declared in error under law.

Angus Nicolson also offers his incredulous view on the matter and fires a few verbal pot shots in the general direction of board and council.

For my part, I think it’s clear the golf club’s application should not have been rejected in the first place because, I understand, it was an application to allow only members of the club and their guests to purchase Sunday drink. It is also of concern that there is more than a hint that religious bias may have muddied waters that should have remained procedurally clear and secular. And finally, the following remark, from Iain MacIver’s second article, concerning the legal advice taken by the licensing board is also rather worrying:

An attempt to get the legal advice through Freedom of Information legislation failed because council lawyers were ordered not to put it in writing.

If true, it suggests anything other than transparency and is perhaps not the best advert for democracy in action.

I hope everyone involved will stop and think very carefully about the consequences of all this and realise that mixing political and religious agendas makes a pretty dubious cocktail.

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