Sectarian discrimination in local councils and myth-making

Steve Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scottish local authorities have been accused of sectarianism in hiring policies because the proportion of workers who declare their religion as Catholic falls below the Catholic proportion of the population as a whole. This rejoinder points out the methodological flaw of drawing conclusions from such incomplete data and presents an alternative way of interpreting the partial statistics. It also notes that, with the high proportion of Labour councillors who are Catholic and the Labour party's history of council control, such discrimination is highly unlikely. Finally, it draws on classic liberalism to defend workers’ refusal to declare their religion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date1 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • sectarianism
  • discrimination
  • local councils
  • local authorities
  • Labour party
  • equality


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