Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Scotland's Councils miss equality targets in employment of BME people - no officials or elected members resign

For some years now, Equality Here, Now has waded through 32 Council Mainstreaming Equality reports to find out just how far Councils, as employers, have managed to eliminate discrimination.  The latest audit of the performance of Councils on delivering employment equality, the 5th since 2010, looked at reports published by Councils in 2021.  The full detail of the 2022 research findings can be read here.

Using data published by Councils themselves, at 2021 the total workforce of Councils across Scotland was 265,030 employees. Of these, 4,017 [1.52%] identified as people from a Black Minority Ethnic [BME] background, 187,315 [70.68%] identified as non-BME and 73,698 [27.81%] did not reveal their ethnicity status. The latest population data from ScottishGovernment’s Equality Evidence Finder is that 4.6% of all adults were from a BME background [as at 2018]. 

Most Councils indicated that their goal was to have a workforce profile which reflected the profile of the population served by the Council.  The research constructed a league table using Census 2011 data and the workforce data published by Councils.  This is reproduced below.

This reveals that there are over 5,800 people from a BME background missing from all of Scotland's Council workforces, over 100% more than is currently employed.  The City of Glasgow Council is the worst offender, with 2,385 people from a BME background missing.

At the present rate of progress in increasing the number of people employed who are from a BME background, Councils in Scotland will, collectively, take over 50 years to reach a level of employment of people from BME backgrounds which matches the level [today] of people from BME backgrounds living in their communities. Given population projections are predicting an increase in Scotland’s BME population to 7%71 in 2031, it is likely the goal of achieving race equality in employment in Councils [based on headcount alone] will take considerably longer than 50 years. 

Reaching such a benchmark will not, however, ensure that employment equality [by headcount] will be delivered for people who identify as Asian, or African or Caribbean, or Black, or from a mixed ethnic group. Councils have yet to start work on gathering and using data to help perform the general equality duty which treats each cohort separately, and not create an artificial aggregate of convenience which simply serves to prolong racial discrimination in employment.

The research and findings, including the actual performance against benchmark as shown in the table above, was shared with Chief Executives and Leaders of Councils.  A small minority of the Chief Executive or Leaders responded, with most recognising that their performance in eliminating employment discrimination is poor but failing to offer any bold, radical or new initiatives which will close the equality gaps for people from BME backgrounds in their Councils.

It is interesting to note that even in the face of the sustained failure of Councils to deliver employment equality for people from BME backgrounds, not one official and not one elected member has taken responsibility for it and resigned.  Which perhaps offers a compelling illustration of a fundamental flaw in the law on eliminating discrimination.  Not one person is required to resign, voluntarily or by collective corporate action, when failure on the scale of Glasgow City Council is revealed.  The sense is clear that corporate and cultural responsibility for delivering equality rests all-too lightly on the shoulders of senior figures in Scotland's public sector.  








Scotland's Councils miss equality targets in employment of disabled people - no officials or elected members resign

 As has been done several times since the Equality Act took effect in 2010 and Scotland put in place regulations on how public bodies should comply with the Act, Equality Here, Now has waded through 32 Council reports to find out just how far Councils, as employers, have managed to eliminate discrimination.  This latest audit, the 5th since 2010, looked at Council Mainstreaming Equality reports published in 2021.  The fine detail of the 2022 research findings can be read here.

Using data published by Councils themselves, at 2021 the total workforce of Councils across Scotland was 265,030 employees. Of these, 6,347 [2.39%] identified as disabled, 147,573 [55.68%] identified as non-disabled and 111,110 [41.92%] did not reveal their disability status. The latest population data from Scottish Government’s Equality Evidence Finder is that 32% of all adults were disabled [as at 2017].  

Most Councils indicated that their goal was to have a workforce profile which reflected the profile of the population served by the Council.  The research constructed a league table using Census 2011 data and the workforce data published by Councils.  This is reproduced below.


This reveals that there are over 45,000 disabled people missing from all of Scotland's Council workforces, almost 7 times the actual total currently employed.  The City of Glasgow Council is the worst offender, with 5,603 disabled people missing.

At the present rate of progress in increasing the number of disabled people employed, Councils in Scotland will, collectively, take over 470 years to reach a level of employment of disabled people which matches the level of disabled people living in their communities. 

Reaching such a milestone will not, however, ensure that employment equality [by headcount] will be delivered for people who identify as having visual impairment and blindness, or hearing impairment and deafness, or physical disabilities such as congenital conditions, or long-term injuries caused by accidents, or progressive neuromuscular diseases, or respiratory conditions or immunological conditions, or neurological conditions and brain injuries. That would require Councils to gather and use employment data on each of these particular cohorts of disabled people in their approach to better performing the general equality duty. None of Scotland’s 32 Councils has started to do that.

The research and findings, including the actual performance against benchmark as shown in the table above, was shared with Chief Executives and Leaders of Councils.  A small minority of the Chief Executive or Leaders responded, with most recognising that their performance in eliminating employment discrimination is poor but failing to offer any bold, radical or new initiatives which will close the equality gaps for disabled people in their Councils.

It is interesting to note that even in the face of the sustained failure of Councils to deliver employment equality for disabled people, not one official and not one elected member has taken responsibility for it and resigned.  Which perhaps offers a compelling illustration of a fundamental flaw in the law on eliminating discrimination.  Not one person is required to resign, voluntarily or by collective corporate action, when failure on the scale of Glasgow City Council is revealed.  The sense is clear that corporate and cultural responsibility for delivering equality rests all-too lightly on the shoulders of senior figures in Scotland's public sector.  





Wednesday, 13 January 2021

WASP privilege indulged by Scottish government and Equality & Human Rights Commission in the running of local government

Scotland's Councils have had almost 11 years now to meet the legal duties they were given under the Equality Act 2010 and change how they go about their daily business and eliminate discrimination as employers and service providers.

Rather than embrace the challenges and shoot for the Equality Moon, Scotland's Councils have managed to demonstrate that the law can be stuffed into the drawer marked 'too difficult' and know that the enforcers of the law, the Equality & Human Rights Commission in Scotland, will do nothing, or as close to nothing as is possible to get without appearing utterly useless or corrupt.

As employers, Scotland's Councils in 2019 managed to count up that of they employed 258,680 workers and that just 5,592 of them [2.16%] identified as disabled people.  Scotland's adult population has 32% of people identifying as disabled.  Not even close to evidencing that discrimination has been eliminated against disabled people.  Woefully short.

As employers, Scotland's Councils struggle to find the evidence that they have eliminated discrimination against Black Minority Ethnic [BME] people.  Just 3,337 workers identified as BME out of the 258,680 Council workers across Scotland.  That is 1.29% of the total.  Estimates for the BME population of Scotland at 2020 suggest the figure is at 5% of the population.  Once more, Scotland's Councils are failing to show that discrimination, this time against BME people, is being eliminated.

Looking at the data for Scottish Council workers identifying as Lesbian, Gay or Bi-sexual [LGB], shows Scotland's Councils are not particular about who they discriminate against.  Just 1,789 workers identify as LGB.  That represents just 0.69% of the whole Council workforce across Scotland.  This at a time when the government itself reckons that 2% of the adult population identifies as LGB as at 2017.  

Another cohort of people who have experienced discrimination in Scotland for decades, if not longer, are Catholic people.  All of Scotland's Councils managed to find 16,907 workers who identified as Catholic.  Just 6.54% of the whole workforce.  The government's own Equality Evidence Finder shows that 14.3% of the adult population in Scotland identifies as Catholic.

In their role as service providers, Scotland's Council were given a chance late in 2020 to provide evidence that they were gathering data on their service users by protected characteristic [as they do with employees] and so demonstrate clearly that their services are equally accessible to all, that the experience in using services was equally useful to all, and that outcomes from using those services was equally available to all.  Thousands of pages of evidence were received.  Those thousands of pages showed all too clearly that Councils across Scotland are unable to evidence that their services are in fact equally accessible to all.  The consequences of this corporate laziness mean structural discrimination in the key functions of the bulk of Scotland’s Councils is going untraced, unchallenged and unchanged.

The basic numbers on employment and the complete lack of numbers in service provision reveal all too clearly that Scotland’s Councils have barely bothered to scratch the surface of discrimination in their functions as employers and as service providers.  Given there are no obvious reasons why this should be the case, applying Occam’s razor would suggest the most likely reason for the failure is that there is a marked lack of appetite in local government for changing a status quo in a Scotland which is largely run by and for WASP [White Anglo Saxon Protestant] privilege. For Scottish government and the Equality & Human Rights Commission [EHRC] to be aware of this and not to actively intervene and drive the real change required, suggests WASP privilege is similarly indulged by government and the EHRC.





Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Structural discrimination in the key functions of Scotland’s Councils is going untraced, unchallenged and unchanged

 

It is now over ten years since Gordon Brown rushed through the House of Commons part of his legacy in the shape of the Equality Act 2010.  There was little which was radically new in the Act.  Much of the focus of the Act was in tidying up equality legislation dating back several decades and ensuring a coherent framework within which the different experiences of discrimination people with protected characteristics encountered could be placed.

 

The Equality & Human Rights Commission published a guide for public sector bodies in Scotland in 2016, ‘Evidence and the Public Sector Equality Duty’, and which was intended to “help authorities subject to the public sector equality duty to implement the duty as it relates to evidence”.  On page 19, the guidance explains:

 

After reviewing the existing evidence base, you are likely to identify things that you do, or protected groups that access your services, for which you do not have equality evidence. This could be because you have good information but it is not disaggregated for all protected characteristics, or because you do not routinely collect information in relation to particular functions.  Think about whether you have enough evidence, and the right type of evidence, to enable you to give rigorous consideration to the needs of the general equality duty across all your functions.

 

You will not be able to do everything at once, and it may take some time to develop relevant evidence across all of your functions. But a lack of evidence is not a valid excuse for inaction on the duty. It is important that you start to take action based on the evidence you have, while also taking steps to develop evidence in other areas.

 Late in 2020, Equality Here, Now investigated the extent to which Scotland’s 32 Councils had managed to examine how they were delivering services and use data gathering on service users to help them identify if discrimination was present in how those services were being delivered.  This would allow them to design out discrimination and so evidence that all people could have equal access to services, equality of experience when in them and equality of outcome achieved from using them.

 While there are any number of approaches to gathering data which could form the basis of evidence that equality of access to Council services is being achieved, there are some basic features which would need to be present.

 The first of these is that data needs to be gathered on who is using a Council service.  For instance, people using a Council library service could be profiled by protected characteristic when they first apply to be a member of their library.  This would then allow a Council to track actual use of library services and cross-reference/analysis made to Council population demographic data to identify if there is a comparative under-use by, say, people identifying as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual [LGB] as against those identifying as heterosexual.  This would enable a Council to conduct focused research to establish reasons for comparative under-use found from data gathering and identify if systemic discrimination was a factor and put in place actions to eliminate that discrimination.

 On experience of services once accessed, it should not be beyond the capacity of Councils to undertake regular sample surveys of service users, profiled by protected characteristic, to establish, say, the satisfaction levels of people identifying as Black Minority Ethnic [BME] with the Council’s planning system and compare this with the levels of satisfaction returned by the surveys from people identifying as non-BME.  Over time, this would provide a Council with evidence of whether or not BME and non-BME people were achieving the same satisfaction in the quality of service from the planning system.  Any disparities revealed should be researched to identify the causes and identify remedial action required where discrimination was found to be a factor.

 In terms of outcomes achieved from access to and experience of Council services, gathering data would be determined to an extent by the core outcome to be achieved by anyone accessing a particular service.  In Council housing applications, it should be possible to tweak existing systems to track progress from application to outcome for people who are disabled and people who are not disabled, thereby determining whether disabled people and non-disabled people are on waiting lists for similar time frames.  With further tweaks, it should also be possible to gather data on whether the outcomes aimed for by applicants [reduction of overcrowding, homelessness, accessible housing amongst others] are actually achieved to the applicant’s satisfaction or if the housing offered is in fact a temporary solution before the preferred housing outcome is achieved by the applicant.  This and similar forms of data gathering would allow Councils to establish an evidence base on whether systemic discrimination was built into their housing systems and processes and to identify where changes would be required to eliminate discrimination against people identifying with any of the protected characteristics.

 Councils were asked to provide examples of using data gathered on service users to evidence that discrimination in the provision of services had been eliminated.  To make it easy for Councils, the data asked for just some of the protected characteristics.

 After reading through thousands of pages of reports where we were assured the data could be found [but without specific page/para referencing] the depressing but unsurprising conclusion was that Councils had been economical with the truth in their responses.

 Not one of Scotland’s 32 Councils was able to provide access to data it has gathered on service users, suitably anonymised and aggregated, to evidence that equality of access to, experience in and achieving outcomes from their services, is being delivered for BME people, disabled people, LGB people and people who identify as Catholic.

 Highland Council offered in evidence a Mainstreaming Equality Report and Citizens’ Panel Performance and Attitudes Survey.  The reports lack data on people accessing services by protected characteristic, instead offering data sets on satisfaction surveys.  From these, the reader can learn that:

 

·        People with disabilities are less satisfied with burials and cremation services

 

What the report lacks is the actual data, by protected characteristic, of people using the burials and cremation services, so enabling comparisons between BME people accessing the services and non-BME people using the services.  The report also fails to reveal exactly how Highland Council had managed to establish contact with disabled people who had died to establish their lack of satisfaction with their burials or cremations.

 Dundee Council offered 2 Mainstreaming Equality reports covering 2015-17 and 2017-19, totalling 116 pages, and advised that ‘the answers to your questions are contained in the attached’.

 In search of the answers, a reading of the Mainstreaming Equality report for 2017-19 revealed that Equality Outcome 1 [on page 13] was to –

 

Increase the level of disclosure of equality information

 The focus of this Outcome is all on employees and the Council’s function as an employer.  No work appears to be getting done by Dundee Council on gathering data by protected characteristics of service users, the focus of the FoI request.

 Edinburgh Council was late in responding to the FOI – 8th December 2020.

In essence, the Council claimed the data requested could be found in the Council’s Equality Diversity and Rights Framework progress report 2019 and in Impact Assessments such as that for the Adaptation and Renewal Programme.  The Council also referred to other papers submitted to Scottish Government as statutory reports.  These were discounted as they did not fit the terms of the request made in the FoI.

 Equality Outcome 1 in the Equality Diversity and Rights Framework Progress Report 2019, on page 13, aims to deliver:

 

Improved accessibility of council services, housing and buildings

 It is noted that the aim is not to deliver equality of access to council services, but to deliver ‘improved accessibility’.  It is possible to argue that the aim fails the meet the duty to eliminate discrimination in the delivery of services. 

 The report lists some of the achievements made with delivering ‘improved accessibility’.  On page 13 the report lists:

 Edinburgh Leisure manages and develops sport and leisure services on behalf of the Council and the Active Communities team deliver projects to people who face the greatest barriers and tend to be much less active: women and girls, people with disabilities, older adults, minority ethnic groups and those with low incomes

 There is no offering of evidence on how this achievement is being measured, no evidence of a benchmark from which progress can be gauged, and no cross-reference to data gathering on service users by, for example, ethnicity.  This leaves Edinburgh Council unable to evidence that equality of access to, experience in and outcomes gained from using Edinburgh Leisure services is available to BME people as it is to non-BME people.

 More generally, there is a laziness in how Scotland’s Councils have responded to the data requested in this research.  Instead of collating specific reports or sections of reports which come even close to providing evidence that data on equality of access to services is being gathered and used, the majority of Councils made assumptions that if there was any evidence it must be in the Mainstreaming Equalities reports they already provide to elected members and publish on their web sites.  Given that none of these reports have contained any such evidence, the consequences of this corporate laziness mean structural discrimination in the key functions of Scotland’s Councils is going untraced, unchallenged and unchanged.

 Radical and refreshed approaches to enforcement of the Equality Act 2010, or variations on them are required to help concentrate the currently poorly focused minds of those running the public sector and untap the energy needed to accelerate the arrival of equality of access to, experience in and outcome from the use of Scotland’s public services for people sharing any of the protected characteristics.  Just as importantly, a new approach would enable hundreds of thousands of people to live the fullest possible lives, both in potential and in quality.

 

Monday, 26 October 2020

Time to topple the statues to structural racism in Scotland's public sector ?

For several decades now - starting in the 1960's - there have been a variety of legal obligations on public sector bodies to find and eliminate race discrimination in how they operate.  The most recent re-visit to legislation on race equality was in the Equality Act 2010.

After more than 50 years of effort, one would imagine that the public sector in Scotland would have undertaken the bulk of the work required to identify and eliminate the shameful practices, systems and cultures which provided the foundation to racism in how they delivered services and how they recruited as employers.

If these 50+ years of effort have revealed anything, it is that simply bringing laws into being will not change the structural nature of racism.

At or around 2019, the NHS in Scotland was reporting that 3.32% of their 168,194 workforce were identifying as Black Minority Ethnic [BME] people.  Scotland's Councils were reporting that 1.29% of that 258,680 workforce identified as BME, while Scotland's universities reported 6.03% of the 48,933 workforce identified as BME.  Scotland's other public bodies, not in any of these other major sectors, reported 1.57% of the aggregated 33,429 workforce identified as BME.  Scottish government itself, expected to act as a beacon and flag-bearer towards race equality, reported that 2.1% of its workforce identified as BME.  These figures were being reported against a demographic backdrop in the form of the Scottish government's Equality Evidence Finder which reveals that BME people formed 4.6% of the adult population in Scotland in 2018.

The level of employment of BME people in Scotland’s universities is obviously underpinned by recruitment from abroad. That being the case, any benchmarking of performance on BME employment equality cannot use, for example, Scotland’s BME population [4% at the 2011 census] as a key indicator [as is done by St Andrews University] . 


Whether those who lead in the public sector have the desire or willingness to recognise their white privilege and unpick the lock they have on jobs and power is a question to which there is no clear or obvious answer.  Just part of the obstacle to race equality is the busted flush that is accountability in the running of the public sector.  Each of the 20-odd NHS Boards in Scotland has a group of Board members appointed by Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health, with the main remit for them being to hold the senior paid staff in each NHS Board to account.  These Board members know how their paid staff are performing poorly on race equality [they get reports which show this] - and do nothing to change that poor performance.  Jeane Freeman and her senior civil servants know how poorly all NHS Boards are performing on race equality [she gets reports which show this] - and do nothing to end that poor performance and speed up the delivery of race equality in Scotland's NHS.  In both these scenarios, the general public/electorate has no tools with which to hold each NHS Board or the Cabinet Secretary to account.  Until such times as politicians build in effective and independent enforcement to such as the Equality Act 2010, racism in employment [and services] in the public sector in Scotland will continue to be an inevitable consequence of unchallenged white privilege.
























Friday, 23 October 2020

Scotland's public sector offers a thin dry toast of excuses for doing nothing on disability equality

 It is now over 10 years since the Equality Act 2010 promised a bold new world order in making equality happen across the UK.  It had been intended to be the freshest policy offspring of Gordon Brown's premiership, and would have marked the start of his new term of office, this time as an elected Prime Minister.  Instead, the Equality Act 2010 became the unwanted and unloved orphan inherited by David Cameron, propped up by Nick Clegg.

In Scotland, government accepted that in the years prior to the Act, work on equality had become bogged down in the process of compliance with the then equality legislation and reporting on progress had become an end in itself instead of a vehicle for tracking and driving real change.  New 'local' regulations on how the Act would be applied in Scotland were drafted by Scottish government with the aim of dislodging the stasis which had gripped public sector progress with delivering real equality which changed the lived experiences of people.

In 2015, Equality Here, Now looked at the performance on the delivery of employment equality of public sector organisations beyond the usual suspects of NHS, Councils and Universities.  Research from then found that diverse organisations such as Visit Scotland to the Scottish Qualifications Authority were employing disabled people to the extent that they formed 2.98% of the sector workforce.  At that time, Scottish government's Equality Evidence finder resource was flagging that the proportion of the adult population identifying as disabled was 20%.

The research in 2015 concluded that - 

the employment data published by public bodies provides no evidence that there is any awareness that there could be even the remotest prospect of institutional discrimination in the sector’s employment of disabled people.  There is also no evidence that disability discrimination in employment in the sector is to be eliminated in a coherent, planned manner based on gathering good quality evidence and analysis, and linked to measurable targeted changes in the lived experiences of disabled people.  This failure of public bodies in Scotland to act decisively on institutional discrimination on the grounds of disability means that for a lot of young disabled people alive today, they will live out their lives and die before demonstrable and evidenced equality of employment opportunity is available to them.

In 2020 Equality Here, Now revisited the 2015 research, with new findings revealed that the employment rate of disabled people across this part of the public sector was 3.81% while Scottish government's Equality Evidence Finder was flagging an adult population where 32% of people identified as disabled people in 2017.

 The research concluded - the Mainstreaming Equality reports published by these public bodies offer varying promises of a ‘jam’ that purports to be the elimination of discrimination in employment, with that ‘jam’ always scheduled to arrive tomorrow.  The tomorrows promised seem never to arrive in the todays being lived now by disabled people looking for equality of opportunity in getting access to work.  When the nature of the ‘jam’ is examined closely, it is in fact often found to be the thinnest of syrups, with many of the planned Outcomes on equality taking the form of improving systems for gathering data.  This seems to be the 21st century equivalent in Scotland’s public sector’s grappling with the delivery of equality, to the medieval scholasticism of such as Thomas Aquinas and his Summa Theologica grappling with questions such as ‘can several angels be in the same place’.


Thursday, 21 May 2020

Scotland's Councils as employers being run by and for WASPs with privilege - government and EHRC decline to intervene

Ten years ago, in the dying days of Gordon Brown's government, the Equality Act 2010 as rushed through the last stages of parliamentary scrutiny and scrambled on the the statute book.  Over the period of time that followed, David Cameron's government ripped sections out of the Act, watered down other sections, and performed crude dentistry on the powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission [EHRC].

As with any law, valuable time could be wasted in picking over the mistakes in drafting the Bill, mourning the opportunities lost in Cameron's filleting of the Act, and denouncing the massive funding cuts to the EHRC budget.  Or we could look at what public bodies have actually done in a decade of work focused on delivering the core aim of the Act - to eliminate discrimination - and decide whether the Act is delivering for the people it aimed to help - those discriminated against on an almost daily basis.

Over the intervening decade since the Equality Act 2010, 'Equality Here, Now' has carried out regular research into what Scotland's public bodies have been doing to rise to the challenges of the Act and eliminate discrimination through change in the polices, practices and cultures of how they deliver services and operate as employers.  Most recently, this has involved scrutiny of what Scotland's 32 local authorities [Councils] published in their function as employers on the workforce profile of people employed by them, and by the protected characteristics of disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

What that research found was that the fundamental flaws in how Councils are gathering and using employment data are unchanging from what data they published in previous years and that the often marginal movements/improvements in percentages reported against each protected characteristic are simply a result of modest improvements in data gathering and reporting.  Put simply.  There has been for some years and continues to be today a complete lack of evidence that Scotland's Councils are actively seeking out discrimination within their cultures, practices and systems and eliminating the root causes of that discrimination.  For these reasons, the research report published in May 2020 offered no analysis of why discrimination continues to be evidenced, sometimes conspicuously, in the 32 workplace data profiling reports published by Scotland’s Councils in 2019.  It has all been said before in previous research reports since 2013 and nothing in what Councils are still doing – and still not doing – has changed in any meaningful way.

At the most basic level of scrutiny, we know that Scotland’s Councils have 2.16% of all workers identifying as disabled.  The Scottish government’s equality evidence finder reveals that Scotland, at 2018, has a national average of adult people identifying as disabled at 32% of the population.  

Glasgow Centre for Population Health estimates, in a study from 2017, that Scotland would have, by 2020, an average of over 5% of the population identifying as Black Minority Ethnic [BME] and increasing to 7% by 2031.  Councils in Scotland are reporting an average across all Councils of 1.29% of the workforce identifying as BME.

Councils also reveal that in 2019 the proportion of the Scotland-wide workforce identifying as Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual [LGB] is 0.69%.  The government’s equality evidence finder reports that the proportion of the Scottish adult population identifying as LGB as at 2017 is 2%.  The final protected characteristic tracked in the research report was religion or belief and with a particular focus on the employment of people who identify as Catholic.  Data published by the 32 Councils reveal that 6.54% of their workforce identify as Catholic people.  The equality evidence finder on government’s web site provides the wider context that in Scotland 14.3% of the adult population identifies as Catholic people.

These basic numbers reveal all too clearly that Scotland’s Councils are light years away from being even close to delivering employment equality, after having had 10 years of opportunity to make the aims of the Equality Act 2010 a reality for people looking to escape discrimination and gain equal access to employment.  There are no obvious reasons why this should be the case.  Applying Occam’s razor would suggest the most likely reason for the complete and sustained failure is that there is a marked lack of appetite in local government for changing a status quo in a Scotland which is largely run by and for WASP [White Anglo Saxon Protestant] privilege.


For Scottish government and the Equality & Human Rights Commission [EHRC] to be aware of this and not to actively intervene and drive the real change required, suggests WASP privilege is similarly indulged by government and the EHRC.