BBC Propaganda Hits New All-Time Low

by craig on May 2, 2014 10:43 am in Uncategorized

Every half hour BBC News is running a three minute puff piece which is even more sinister for what it hides than for what it says – and By God! That is sinister enough.

“Now the BBC has learned about an alternative No campaign which calls itself No Borders a group determined to rouse the emotions many feel about being Scottish but also British.  Gavin Essler has this exclusive report:”

GAVIN ESLER: “A recording studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh.  A group of musicians putting the finishing touches to a song which they hope could save the United Kingdom”

(Pretty girls caterwauling unpleasantly). The song is part of a new campaign called No Borders.  Their website goes live today on the anniversary of the Union”

(Long speech by Malcolm Offord of No Borders – not a single question asked).

GAVIN ESLER (orgasmic voice): “Here in the very heart of Glasgow in fact almost anywhere you go anywhere in Scotland you’re never far away from our three hundred years of shared British history…. Putting the passion into the campaign to save the United Kingdom is exactly what No Borders say they are about.”

(Another statement from Malcolm Offord.  Still not asked any questions).

GAVIN ESLER ‘The idea is a grassroots campaign to rival that of the pro-independence campaign, based on those who wish to remain in the UK.  A retired care nurse from Glasgow Elizabeth Bashir is one of those who has given her testimonial.

(Pro-union view from sweet old lady.)

(14 seconds to spokesman for Yes campaign – presumably this is BBC “balance”.)

(Pretty Girls Caterwauling Again).

GAVIN ESLER “In the music industry they say you should never rewrite a hit, and No Borders say the Union has been a great hit worldwide for three hundred years.  But others say it might be time to sing a new song.”

Now this long propaganda piece for the No campaign is disgusting in itself for its internal bias, and for the fact that the very much larger grassroots movement the Radical Independence Campaign has never been given any publicity by the BBC (and the failure to reference the longstanding anarchist No Borders movement).  It is not even news – it is two days since “Vote No Borders” was given an even longer bout of free publicity on Newsnight Scotland.

But what makes this propaganda utterly unforgiveable is that Vote No Borders is not a grassroots campaign at all but a government organized campaign which has mysteriously acquired start-up cash of 400,000 pounds with no declared origin.

The registered office of Vote No Borders, a private limited company, is at 24 Chiswell Street, London, EC2Y 4YX . Which is perhaps surprising for a “Scottish grassroots campaign”.  The directors are Malcolm Offord and Fiona Gilmore.

Now pay close attention: Fiona Gilmore is chief executive of Acanchi a PR Consultany which specializes in “Country Branding”.  Its clients include Israel, Dubai, Bahrain and “England”.  Yes, it actually specifies “England” on the company website.  Acanchi also works for DFID – in short, it gets UK taxpayers’ money, plus Israeli and Gulf Arab money.  Are you familiar with the word fungibility?

Malcolm Offord, it turns out, has donated over 120,000 pounds to the Conservative Party plus made personal donations to Michael Gove.  He is the author of the report “Bankrupt Britain” on the Conservative Home website.  In his paper Offord suggests that further cuts in UK public spending should continue to be made  even after the present debt crisis has been passed and urges government to:

“Reform the bloated benefits system of this country to reduce the burden on the state and, just as importantly, boost the growth rate of the country”

And the wee retired care home nurse Elizabeth Bashir?  Well, she’s not quite as “grassroots” as shown by the BBC either.



That picture is definitely the “grassroot” Elizabeth Bashir interviewed by the BBC.  There is also an Elizabeth Bashir from Glasgow on Facebook who “likes” Vote No Borders [reference here deleted as it has been pointed out, I think fairly, it was to something probably meant as a joke]. This lady has expensive tastes for a grassroot, her other “likes” are Svarovski Crystal, the swanky Aura club in Mayfair and Faz Collection clothes.  Strangely although she calls herself Elizabeth Bashir, Glasgow and supports Vote no Borders, everything she “likes” which has a geographical location is in London.  It is conceivably a different Elizabeth Bashir from Glasgow, perhaps a daughter, but the coincidence of the Vote No Borders like is very strong.

It took me an hour with google to find all this.  That the BBC continues to propagandise this fake “grassroots campaign” without revealing Offord’s Tory Party credentials, his belief in never-ending cuts in public spending and welfare benefits, and Acanchi being a consultant paid by government to boost the UK image is completely beyond anything that can remotely be described as legitimate.

It is the most abhorrent example of a fake story, entirely contrived state propaganda, being put out by a state broadcaster.


From commenters below: The “Vote No Borders” website domain was registered by Gary Waple, who works in the Prudential Regulatory Authority of the Bank of England!!!! Before that he worked at the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates – that British government and Gulf money connection pops up again.


The Guardian also is pushing it.  Amazing how neither the BBC nor the Guardian noticed who Mr Offord was, or who his fellow director is, or asked where the money came from.  We have a huge responsibility in social media to combat the ultra-powerful combination of the entire mainstream media with the British state, the City of London and their overseas neo-con allies.

I ask every single person who reads this to do what they can do to get this news out – it may open eyes about the BBC, media in general and the hidden hands behind the No campaign.  Feel free to copy and paste anywhere you want.  But please everybody either blog or tweet about it, put it on your facebook page, email people about it or if you can’t do any of those, just tell three people.  The only way we can beat the massed forces of the state and the ultra-rich is by a deliberate and purposeful exercise of people power.  That will never happen unless everybody tries. Do something.  Now. It does not matter where you are in the world.  Knowledge is universal – that is the root of every power the people can hope to have.


Brilliant! This post is currently being read by more than one person every two seconds. I hope it’s being read some other places by now too.  Don’t stop, we need much more than that to equal the numbers who will view the execrable mainstream propaganda.


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  1. I thought there was a border with a sign saying “Welcome to Scotland” on one side, and “Haste ye back to Scotland” on the other. Or perhaps that sign got taken down long ago. :(

  2. The poverty-stricken nature of the Betory Together/No Borders camp is, in its naffness, one of the great advantages of the Yes campaign.

  3. If it was obvious to me this was an Astroturf campaign within two minutes, not many people will be taken in by it, but it does strike me that the money Acquired by that group with absolutely no previous should be investigated, will the Electoral Commission look at these people and ask them to explain where they got their funding from, MI5?

  4. There is anger but no surprise in Scotland at this because what do you expect from the British state broadcaster?

    The other thing that the BBC are doing in Scotland at the moment is a running a smear campaign against Alex Salmond coordinated with the rest of the Unionist media where they are trying to gain some traction from his anodyne comments about Putin in the GQ interview. Again a familiar operation to those of us in Scotland where they keep pushing a story in their regional Scottish programmes in the hope that it will gain legs and damage the SNP and by default the Yes campaign.

    In part what they are also trying to do is to bury the story of how the BBC was not willing to leave the CBI when the CBI registered as an active participant in the No campaign and to stop people asking questions about why previously to this, the BBC kept bringing the CBI in to comment negatively on the Scottish referendum without saying they were a member of the very same organisation.

    Many in the rest of the UK will wonder if the BBC was a member of the CBI when it was reporting on the Miners’ Strike in the eighties. How does that sit with impartiality when the BBC was funding a right wing employers lobbying organisation all through the strike?

  5. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 11:09 am

    Pretty girls caterwauling – didn’t the Church try that in a failed attempt to boost bums on pews?

    Tragic when the real issues take third place to The Message and The Personality, ennit?

  6. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 11:12 am

    FTM…follow the money. The BBC can’t support its multiple tiers of useless management as it is. It doesn’t want to lose millions of license payers right now.

  7. No Borders is also the name of an excellent anti-border, anti-immigration controls group.

    Quite a far cry from the right wing populism the No campaign tries to stoke.

  8. Craig, I am very happy that you have highlighted this, it was becoming known what these people are involved in, and it is all a con in order to steal votes.
    My opinion is that we all need to discredit and expose them for what they are, that is how we get the better of them.

    We need to sow the seeds of this across the social media so the Scottish people are not conned. Of course we cannot expect any truth from the state backed media with the BBC being highly culpable, it is there to see and hear. It is disgraceful, and YES we need a SBC that reflects the real issues and allows the real feeling of the Scottish people to be seen and heard.

    I really do think that IF there is a NO vote due to all this propaganda against Scottish democracy, it is storing up much bigger problems for the future.

  9. Malcolm Offord, millionaire Tory from Greenock. You don’t get many of them in a dozen. He must be a Tory after witnessing the total destruction of his home town by the efforts of one Margaret Thatcher, aided and abetted by the Westminster Elite. Presume Mr Offord is back to make sure he didn’t leave any loose change about for the natives. Respect! Is he back to give us a kicking?

  10. Roger Whittaker

    2 May, 2014 - 11:18 am

    The domain was registered on 21st March by Gary Waple who appears to be this person:

    Associate at The Prudential Regulatory Authority
    London, United Kingdom
    Management Consulting

    The Prudential Regulatory Authority, Bank of England

    Acanchi Limited, Central Bank of the UAE, Figurehead Finance PLC

    Edinburgh Business School

  11. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Even if you are the Roger Whittaker I knew…that’s beautiful. Thank you.

  12. Ba’al Zevul, 11:12 am

    “The BBC can’t support its multiple tiers of useless management as it is”

    “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs”

  13. Camilla Kaczinski

    2 May, 2014 - 11:30 am

    What I find just as damning, if not more, is that Offord is on the advisory board for Center for Social Justice, the “independent” think-tank established by Iain Duncan Smith MP in 2004. “Putting social justice at the heart of British politics”.
    Some kind of justice. And some kind of grassroots.

  14. This is very common.

    Same Crisis Actor Interviewed at LAX Shooting and…:

  15. Camilla Kaczinski

    2 May, 2014 - 11:37 am

    From the Guardian:
    The first of any unaligned campaign to register formally with the Electoral Commission, No Borders plans on running cinema ads, to use social media to promote the site and garner contributions, and to sell t-shirts. That is expected to intensify in mid-May.
    It is not, Offord insists, allied to the official Better Together campaign but complementary and independent of it:
    “Never met them. I have never met Alistair Darling [chairman of Better Together]. I don’t know them. We’re quite deliberately arms length; I don’t want any politicians involved.”
    Likely based on good advice from the Country Branding expert.

  16. Amazing how neither the BBC nor the Guardian noticed who Mr Offord was, or who his fellow director is, or asked where the money came from. We have a huge responsibility in social media to combat the ultra-powerful combination of the entire mainstream media with the British state, the City of London and their overseas neo-con allies.

  17. Is it not the case that had the BBC membership of the CBI not been exposed, then license payers money would have been included in the £150,000 that the CBI would have donated to the NO campaign?

    The BBC have been fully exposed in Scotland as an anti-democratic entity that we all have to pay for. Even if it’s a NO vote they are beyond the pale and must be broken up.

  18. “Radical Independence Campaign has never been given any publicity by the BBC”

    They covered them attacking Nigel Forage didn’t they?

    So it’s singing songs bad, intimidating people good is it?

    And they wonder why people have trepidations about the Nationalists.

  19. Fred

    It was not the Radical Independence Campaign, as you well know. They just demonstrated against UKIP, something I take it you don’t do. If you honestly believe that falsely accusing someone of assault means fair publicity has been given, your bitterness has perverted your judgment. The main chap charged was English and not a supporter of Independence. Now how about addressing the fake “Vote No Borders” campaign. Or are you a fake too?

  20. more from Wings on the same subject backing up Craig’s piece:

  21. Andy Borland

    2 May, 2014 - 12:07 pm

    “Now the BBC has learned about an alternative No campaign …..”

    ” Hi Gavin. Malcolm here.”
    ” Hi Malcolm. How are you old boy.”
    ” Tickety boo. Couldn’t be better. Look Gavin, everyone knows the Union’s going to hell in a handcart & something has to be done about it. I’ve got deep pockets, I’ve lots of chums with deep pockets & I thought the CBI, sorry Auntie Beeb, might be able to help?”
    ” Sure Malcolm, what do you need chum?”

  22. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the link, Clark. Wish I’d written that.

    If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job. Real, productive workers are relentlessly squeezed and exploited. The remainder are divided between a terrorised stratum of the, universally reviled, unemployed and a larger stratum who are basically paid to do nothing, in positions designed to make them identify with the perspectives and sensibilities of the ruling class (managers, administrators, etc) – and particularly its financial avatars – but, at the same time, foster a simmering resentment against anyone whose work has clear and undeniable social value. Clearly, the system was never consciously designed. It emerged from almost a century of trial and error. But it is the only explanation for why, despite our technological capacities, we are not all working 3-4 hour days.

  23. “It was not the Radical Independence Campaign, as you well know.”

    Well you’d better ask Wikipedia to amend their their entry then

    Critics of the campaign include George Galloway and Lord Forsyth. Galloway accused a RIC-organised protest directed at Nigel Farage, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), of having an “anti-English character”,[12] while Forsyth called it “a very bad advertisement for Scotland”.[13] Farage himself described the protesters as being part of a movement “akin to fascism”.[13] In response, an English RIC member described Farage’s criticism as “insulting”.[14]

    After the beginning of the “Britain is for the rich, Scotland can be ours” strategy, the RIC was criticised by both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, with the former calling the strategy “appalling” and the latter claiming that it is motivated by “hatred”. Shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran criticised the RIC for “appalling tactics”, and requested clarification from the SNP and Yes Scotland in regard to whether they approved RIC’s actions.

    “The main chap charged was English”

    Yeh, everything’s always the fault of the English.

    “Or are you a fake too?”

    Didn’t take you long to start making it personal.

  24. You may fly and wave your Saltire, skirl your bagpipes, swirl you kilts, sing Flower o’ Scotland, but Scotland cannot be a free independent country until its Govt controls the issuance of its own currency.
    Those who control the money creation ,control the Power.

  25. Fred

    I have better things to do with my life than ask Wikipedia to remove quotes from Galloway, Lord Forsyth and Farage posted by some similar fool to you on Wikipedia, as though they proved anything. Any other Farage or Lord Forsyth quotes you want to give us?

    Except that, until you actually address the question of the hype by the BBC of the entirely fake grassroots VNB campaign, anything else you post will be deleted. After that you can return to your usual stream of drivel.

  26. Esler shills for Zionist Israel too.

    Rocking and rolling with Anna Phoebe now.

    I have just come in and find Darling on Sky proselytising for Better Together. Doesn’t he know they dumped him?

  27. Salford Lad

    Yes, and that’s an argument Scotland will be free to address and decide democratically after independence, which it is not free to do now. Me, I am for the Euro. Others agree with you. But we will be able to decide. You see, that’s the point.

  28. Malcolm Offord

    Senior Partner, Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP
    Malcolm was born at 33 Bank Street, Greenock and educated at Greenock Academy and Edinburgh University where he graduated with an honours degree in law. In 1987, he joined the merchant bank Lazard Brothers & Co., Limited in London as a graduate trainee and thereafter spent six years in Mergers & Acquisitions, working on a wide variety of transactions throughout the UK and Europe. Malcolm moved from the advisory side to principal investing when he joined 3i plc in 1994 and then onto Bankers Trust Company in 1996. He joined Charterhouse in 1998 and became a Founder Partner at the time of the firm’s buy-out from HSBC in 2001.

    Malcolm is married to Libet and they have one daughter and two sons. Malcolm and Libet have recently established their own family charitable trust called The Badenoch Trust. source

    The Badenoch Trust – Charity Info

    Powerbase – Malcolm Offord

  29. Mary,

    I don’t think you meant that last post as Holocaust skepticism, but it was subject to misinterpretation that way, and that’s something I always delete.

    I was rather hoping you might exercise your usual forensic powers on Fiona Gilmore!

  30. Any relation to Dr Matthew Offord Con Hendon?

    Register of Members’ Interests
    Last updated: 28 Apr 2014.

    6. Overseas visits
    Name of donor: Conservative Friends of Israel
    Address of donor: 45b Westbourne Terrace, London W2 3UR
    Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £2,000
    Destination of visit: Israel and the West Bank

    Date of visit: 11-15 November 2013
    Purpose of visit: fact-finding political delegation
    (Registered 18 November 2013)

    Name of donor: Conservative Friends of Israel
    Address of donor: C/O Shelley Stock Hunter LLP, 7-10 Chandos Street, London W1G 9DG
    Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £1,200
    Destination of visit: Israel
    Date of visit: 11-13 March 2014
    Purpose of visit: political delegation
    (Registered 18 March 2014)

    and the same destination in 2010 and 2012 under the auspices of the JNF.

  31. Fred:

    Galloway accused a RIC-organised protest directed at Nigel Farage, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), of having an “anti-English character”

    Given that the ‘ringleader’ of the protest was one of the various English protesters present, it’s surprising the protesters managed to protest against Farage at all when they should have been protesting against themselves.

    Next you’ll be claiming the guy who threw an egg at Farage is anti-English, or that guy who dunted him on the head with a placard a while back. Both events of course took place in staunchly Scottish Nationalist areas of southern England.

  32. Yes – there is also a Tory MP surname Offord – don’t know if related. Malcolm Offord’s dob is given as 1964 but I can’t find a birth certificate for a Malcolm Offord, Greenock, 1964. Just saying (disclosure my dad was in the RAF and posted to Norfolk, where I was born). Also he lives at 9 Gipsy Lane in London but he specifically states on VNB’s website he has a vote in the referendum – how can that be?

  33. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 1:10 pm

    Just wasted a pretty fair deconstruction of Forsyth there, dammit. Saved by the Captcha, which asserted that 2-1 didn’t =1.

    Bit more on VNB. Note: Waple (ex-Acanchi) isn’t the only Acanchi connection:

    Wonder who really lives in 26, Charlotte Square?

    Just offices :

  34. Naebd

    “that guy who dunted him on the head with a placard” The last one did in fact take place in a staunchly Scottish Nationalist area of England – just round the corner from my house! :-)

  35. This referendum campaign has opened the eyes of many folk. Ordinary folk that thought they had no interest in politics. Once someone realises they are being lied to, there is no going back.
    If there is a No vote, it will be entirely down to the lies and misinformation put out by the British State and its various media mouthpieces. If they win with a campaign based on lies and fear, then the aftermath could prove very nasty. The genie is out of the bottle.
    Hopefully we will get the result we deserve, whatever that is.

  36. Charlotte Square is the most expensive address in Scotland. Actually a sometime commenter on this blog lived there when we were students!

  37. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    Lulz. Enjoy. Re. VNB’s founders, Acanchi (who do branding or are, in oldspeak, an advertising agency)

    FOR decades The Isle of Man has nurtured its reputation as a haven for tax-averse Brits and a refuge for those who think Victorian values are a bit on the lax side – the death penalty and corporal punishment were only abolished in 1993.

    But now the island wants to shake off its backwards image to become the must-visit tourist destination of Europe. The self-governing island, almost equidistant from Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, has appointed a marketing consultancy to re-brand its rain-sodden image.

    It has hired Acanchi, a London-based marketing firm, to mastermind the transformation and is pumping thousands of pounds into the scheme, aimed at wooing both tourists and businesses to the virtues of Manx “uniqueness”.

    The objective of the project is to “enhance the island’s rich culture and heritage and to further its sense of national identity”.

    Well, well, well.

  38. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 1:17 pm

  39. Juteman

    Dunno – if people do know about this and still vote No, I think I shall just give up on life. Wha would be a coward slave. It seems to me we have a fair number of coward slaves, content to be dominated by the parcel of rogues. Two Burns songs which are still so bloody true. (Though my favourite is For A’That)

  40. Mosstrooper

    2 May, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    It’s simple really Craig. This is another stage in a war for the heart and soul of a nation. After all the British have form here Remember Gandhi’s words “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win”

  41. A middle-eastern banking connection.
    A Conservative Mayoress with a Muslim surname.
    A lucrative care business.

    Cameron is desperate for the inner-city Muslim vote, and Muslim Conservatives will do anything to ingratiate themselves with him.

  42. There must be some way to collate these instances of propaganda and deliver them to the court of human rights or something. There must be some kind of international body who can see whats going on and take action.

  43. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    A conspiracy theorist might incline to the opinion that VNB is a front organisation for some vested interest, funded by large sums (£400,000 claimed so far) of unattributable money, being run by an advertising agency. No, wait a minute. Those are the facts.

  44. Well in at the BBC. That fits.

    ‘Fiona is a regular speaker on communication and innovation and has participated in TV and radio programmes including The Money Programme and the BBC’s Question Time.’

    I said Crikey out loud when I looked at CamFed where she is a director.

    Cash and Assets £6m and £7m

    You might have heard of them as a Ghana connection came up on Google.

    She is sole director of Acanchi, Mr Gary Waple having resigned.

    United Learning Trust is a charity that operates 36 academies. She resigned in 2009.

  45. Powerbase – Fiona Gilmore:
    Fiona Gilmore – Chairman and Founder of Acanchi

    Fiona’s career spans nearly 30 years during which time she has advised on brand positioning, communications strategy, innovation, corporate identity and internal communications for companies, countries, cities and regions. Fiona has advised a broad range of corporate clients including, Vodafone, Unilever, Lloyd’s, Giorgio Armani and Saudi Telecom. She has given counsel to Governments, Public Sector, Private Sector and NGOs for Bahrain, the Isle of Man, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belfast, Britain, Hong Kong, Zambia and the Blue Mountains of Australia.
    After several years at an advertising agency, Fiona moved to Michael Peters and Partners where she became Managing Director. She then co-founded Brand and Design Consultancy Springpoint, which under her leadership developed into an international consultancy, with offices in three countries. In 2001, Springpoint was acquired by the international group IPG and in 2003 Fiona left the group and founded Acanchi.

    Fiona is the author of three books, Brand Warriors, Warriors on the High Wire and Brand Warriors China and several journal articles. Fiona is a Board Member of the United Learning Trust and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

  46. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    Expletive me. I don’t believe this*.

    Israel has hired British public image consultants to give the conflict-battered nation a political facelift for its 60th birthday this year.

    Acanchi, which has built its reputation on altering international perceptions of nations such as Lebanon and Bahrain, has been contracted to counter anti-Israel “mindsets”. “Our research shows that Israel’s brand is essentially the conflict,” Ido Aharoni, head of the brand management unit within Israel’s foreign ministry, told Israeli daily….

    *I do really.

  47. I totally agree, Craig. That’s why I said we will get the result we deserve.
    I can’t get too angry at my fellow Scots, though. After 300 years, it’s surprising that more folk aren’t suffering from Jockhome Syndrome than there actually are.
    AS knew this, and went for the long campaign. A lie can only work for a limited time once put under scrutiny. The British State is now becoming a part of the Yes campaign.
    I have faith in my fellow Scots.

  48. So many fingers. So many pies.

    Director Overview
    Malcolm Offord holds 10 appointments at 9 active companies, has resigned from 50 companies and held 1 appointment at 1 dissolved company. Malcolm began his first appointment at the age of 33 and their longest current appointment spans 6 years and 5 months at THE BADENOCH TRUST.

    The combined cash at bank value for all businesses where Malcolm holds a current appointment equals £64,537,948, with a combined assets value of £130,861,192 and liabilities of £82,296,869. Roles associated with Malcolm Offord within the recorded businesses include: Llp Member, Director, Company Secretary

    Registered Details
    Short name Malcolm Offord
    Year of Birth: 1964
    Director ID: 905871894

    Registered Address
    Exchange Tower 19 Canning Street
    EH3 8EH

    Scroll down and click on a company name, if more info needed.

  49. Tutuanatiaratoo

    2 May, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Sent today, to Ric Bailey at the BBC. He is the man tasked with implementing the guidelines for the referendum period (as defined and agreed with Electoral Commission) to ensure impartiality.

    Dear Mr Bailey,

    I was going to forgo any further communication with you as we approach the cut-off point for the Independence Referendum Campaign on the 31st May and the subsequent guidelines you were working on coming into force.

    Unfortunately, it appears that the BBC has shed any pretence at impartiality over the last few days, with BBC Scotlands careful editing of Alex Salmonds response to opposition parties questions regarding Putin and the recent story given national airing relating to the subject line of the email I am sending to you.

    It is without doubt 2 clear instances of bias. The first is over an attempt to hide facts from the public over the balance of the Putin case, ensuring the focus is firmly on Alex Salmond.

    The second is as baffling as it is biased. Any half hearted attempt to do any investigative journalism would have shown you that the Vote No Borders company is NOT a grassroots campaign. By definition grassroots campaigns are launched by ordinary people finding common ground and common voice and then progressing that forward. This is a establishment funded business, backed by a multi-millionaire employee of a Government funded consultancy who work in promoting cities, regions, countries.

    I cannot believe that this material was a) allowed to be broadcast without the full knowledge and approval of the Chief Political Editor and b) that it was presented in such a frankly dishonest way.

    I would like a full explanation from the BBC as to why the Vote No Borders article was misrepresented in terms of its delivery, why it was given prominence over true grassroots movements? I would also like a full explanation from you the responsible appointed person for ensuring impartiality, why the BBC is intent on tarnishing its image by editing out crucial information from public broadcasts? Information incidentally that is in the public interest to know.

    I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future with a full and frank breakdown of the reasons why this was given the go-ahead and what is proposed to prevent it happening in future. I do not want this complaint to be handled as a matter of course by the complaints dept as it is a query aimed specifically at you and the response expected from you. I would also appreciate it if you could copy Mr Tony Hall and Lord Patten in on your response.

    Yours sincerely

  50. Craig, the MSM did the exact same thing with the Taylor donation to the No campaign; they never examined it and it was left to National Collective, Wings Over Scotland to put up articles on the internet about Taylor and Vitol’s activities. This is out and out propaganda for the No campaign by the BBC, there is no semblance of impartiality and balance whatsoever. If it was done by another state, the British establishment and their hangers on would be smugly opining that it would never happen here.

  51. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Craig – Genuinely sorry to go off on the inviting tangent of Fiona Gilmore, founder of Acanchi, and central to VoteNoBorders’ cash-drenched existence. But I think it’s useful.

    This is the report presented to Tynwald as a result of the IoM’s rebranding exercise, conducted by Acanchi for a substantial fraction of s £500K budget. Really meaty stuff, beginning with:

    “The Isle of Man is a land of possibility where people and businesses can reach their full
    potential. It has been self-governing for over 1,000 years, which has created a secure
    yet stimulating environment.
    This gives people and businesses the freedom to flourish,
    providing the foundations for a dynamic economy and unrivalled quality of life.”

    This was refined to a shorter, more elegant positioning of the brand proposition:
    “The Isle of Man is a land of possibility where people and business will find the right
    environment in which to reach their full potential, whatever they feel that might be.”

    When I visited that happy land, I had to fight the growing feeling that my full potential might lie in becoming a serial killer, but I digress…did you see what they did there?

  52. Mary

    “The combined cash at bank value for all businesses where Malcolm holds a current appointment equals £64,537,948”

    And what does 64 million pounds in the bank buy you? Unlimited unchallenged airtime with Gavin Esler.

    Shame about the 82 million in liabilities though. Seems he’s exactly the normal kind of merchant banking genius. Ah well, he can always get a massive bailout from you and me, courtesy of Gordon Brown and Darling.

  53. Feeder at large gold plated trough. I expect real pigs are less greedy.

    This is the conclusion of a long article where the figures are in £billions and £millions.

    Who runs Charterhouse?

    In 2009, after the firm’s ninth fund was raised, long-standing managing partner Gordon Bonnyman (right) began sharing his management responsibilities with Lionel Giacomotto, Malcolm Offord and Jeremy Greenhalgh, according to documents filed by Charterhouse. This governance structure was deemed too “cumbersome” by the investment team, with matters coming to a head in 2011. At the end of 2010, the firm had a larger-than-normal bonus pool. Instead of dividing up the excess cash among all the members of the investment team, the four-person management team decided to keep the extra bonus money for themselves, according to documents filed by Charterhouse.

    This prompted a “backlash” from the investment team, with two directors tendering their resignations, the documents state. After internal discussions, a consensus emerged that Giacomotto alone should succeed Bonnyman as managing partner and that in the future bonuses would be divided up as in previous years. In the end, both directors withdrew their resignations, according to documents filed by Charterhouse.

    At present, Bonnyman and Giacomotto jointly guide the important decisions at the firm, particularly on identifying early-stage prospective investments and setting remuneration, according to documents filed by Charterhouse.

    Certain decisions are then formally put to Charterhouse’s various committees. At the top of the pile is the executive committee that has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business, including financial reporting, tax and compliance. The remuneration and allocation committees respectively set bonuses and carried interest levels for investment directors. The board investment committee, on which all income members of the firm sit, then makes the decisions about what businesses Charterhouse will buy or sell and at what price. All other issues are discussed at quarterly limited partner meetings.

    –This article was first published in the print edition of Financial News dated February 3, 2014

    Offord’s ties with Charterhouse ended8 December 2013.

  54. Don’t they just look pleased with themselves. Centre for Social Justice. Orwell lives.

    Out to plant the runner beans. More satisfying than being a high up bean counter methinks. Hope he doesn’t have the sticky end that some in his world encounter.

  55. Interesting link, Mary. I see Offord is connected to Corals, the bookmaker.
    Folk on the Yes side are/were bemused at the generous odds being offered for a Yes vote earlier in the campaign. The media carried stories of folk placing huge amounts of cash on a No vote. Mmmmmm.

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    2 May, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    From Mary, on this thread (about the BBC/Scottish referendum):

    “Esler shills for Zionist Israel too.”


    Is there ANY THREAD into which Mary can resist dragging Israel/Zionism ?

    Pure incontinence.

  57. Sounds to me like a case of shooting the messenger rather than addressing the message. Not surprisingly we have had no comment on the Nationalist leader’s admiration of Putin Doesn’t quite go with the benign non aggressive nationalist line that is being pushed by Craig and others.

  58. It’s worth doing some (polite?) commenting too on their website, as suggested on another Yes site. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I read it. :-( Anyway there are videos of various people saying why they’re voting no, plus one of Malcolm Offord giving it some spiel. I would have put in a live link here but wasn’t keen on making it too tasty for web crawlers.

    It’s interesting to see what Offord’s political views are. For instance, he blames much of the poverty in the UK on single mothers and is one of the architects of the plans to cut welfare even more. How he can square that, with a straight face, with saying the UK would be all fluffy kittens and unicorns if Scotland stays, I have no clue. But of course, we know there is no benefit. We’re just a cash cow to Westminster.

  59. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    One of the comments in the WoS link above queries Offord’s directorship of Cashmaster Holdings (Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, maildrop) This doesn’t appear on Companycheck. He’s also a director of various Charterhouse Holdings variants: address 16, Charlotte Square.

  60. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    In Offord’s favour, he proposed a 50% tax rate on high earners, in 2009

    Against: he’s close to the Government (any Government), and buys the Daily mail line on benefits. Worth a look:

    The CfSJ page for Offord is no longer there.


    2 May, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    watch how it’s done…

    “A campaign AGAINST Scottish independence, but let’s not split hairs. Nobody had heard of Vote No Borders until its website went live yesterday. Less than 24 hours later the BBC has managed to arrange a substantial news package for it. Allowing for planning and organising, the broadcaster must have decided that said “momentum” was “gathering” within literally minutes of the site’s appearance.”

  62. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    O/T, like ESLO…

    (adimir Putin, that is)

    They all like him. Even Farage.

  63. Great work, sir – very great work indeed. A bit OTT at the start, but by God you have discredited this outfit very well indeed.

    That said, they were discrediting themselves already. I just blogged about a cove who was playing golf with his mate who was going on about Universities, FE and the health service, things which this man was clearly not interested in. That’s why he’s voting no!

    I have updated the post to include your information. Again, great work.


    2 May, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    Ba’al; Dubya is a Dood-Bro, man. He even held hands with Prince Bandar.


    2 May, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    That’s just my Man-splanation. :)

  66. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    There are some truly astonishing deficits on the books of the Edinburgh companies Charterhouse Nadia 1 thru 4 Ltd, of which Offord was a director until 2012, and is still listed as being on some company info sites. Hundreds of millions…

  67. O/T Craig,

    Any comments on the arrest of Gerry Adams?

  68. Rhisiart Gwilym

    2 May, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    Mosstrooper: Paid a dweud Prydeinig, pam ti’n golygu Saesnig, plis. Meaning: “Don’t say British when you mean English, please” – but written in the oldest continuously-spoken language still extant in The Isles.

    It’s the English imperialists who have the form, whether in India or Alba. And in my country too, and Eire, and in lots of others. Doesn’t really matter which mercenary soldiers, from which imperial province, actually shot the balls and thrust the bayonets, that damned empire was always an English-ruling-class project, at bottom; and an armed-robbery racket from the first, as empires always are; and still at it today, even reduced as it now to a tonto of the US overlord.

    Craig’s British, I am, Mary is; most here will be. Yet we three are each of one the several nations of the island of Britain also. It’s important to call English imperialism – oppressing and exploiting the English commoners just as much as anyone else it can reach – by its right name. It was always a strictly English ruling-class racket, though with plenty of provincial compradors and switcheroos from plenty of other nations bandwaggon-hopping, when it seemed politic to do so, natch.

    We have only the one viable option in The Isles, which is to get along well with each other. That will be better served when the fag-end of the English empire is finally dead. The liberation of the other nations of The Isles, followed, you have to hope, by the liberation of the poor rank and file English from their criminal English-raj bamboozler/exploiters, is best served by the sequential break-up of the damnable uk-state, to be succeeded by something more egalitarian, federal (or possibly confederal) and genuinely democratic. No reason why it shouldn’t be velvet, rather than bloody…

  69. Ivar the Boneless

    2 May, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    No word from you on Liebour Lord George “Bomber” Robertson making the case for Russia to be admitted into NATO, you won’t here that reported in the shitrags and BBC etc. Sheers hypocrisy from the msm and wastemonster

  70. Derooftrouser

    2 May, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Trawling Facebook for people who might be the one you’re looking for, and then holding up the person you find’s ‘Likes’ as evidence that they’re, what, ‘not real’?

    Creepy, tenuous AND irrelevant. Quite a package.

  71. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    The caterwauling women are called “Flowers of Union”.
    So’s Flowers of Union Ltd, set up by Fiona at the Acanchi trading address in December 2013.
    I think we can take premeditation as read.|countryGB&cr=countryUK|countryGB&hl=en&&ct=clnk

    (paywall – this is the cache)


    2 May, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    As Guano commented; how Ninja-like, are our bodhisattva bots?


    2 May, 2014 - 2:56 pm

  74. Mrs Grimble

    2 May, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    Mary, please go away if you have nothing sensible to add to the subject of the post. Your conspiracy theories do not belong in this thread.

    To get back on topic: Offord’s campaign is getting a hammering on social media (largely thanks to Craig and Wings Over Scotland). However, money can buy a lot of misleading ads and puff pieces, so the Indyref campaign can’t get complacent about them. The media’s fawning treatment of the No campaign and the monstering of Salmond, has really opened my eyes to the extent of political bias against Scotland in the rest of the UK. I’m English-born and bred; I realise now that this bias has always always present, but I’ve only noticed it now that I’m on the other side of the border.

  75. Neil McAdam

    2 May, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    If I can just lower the tone here:
    Someone on facebook just realised that this new “grass roots” body uses the same marketing managers as those who devised UKOK:


  76. Brian Powell

    2 May, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    The BBC has moved beyond the corrupt stage to putrid.

    I commented on this story in the Guardian giving many of the details, the comment seemed to be well received judging by the up votes.


    2 May, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    Hab; Are you a Mason?

  78. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    Malcolm Offord’s Centre For Social Justice (heh!) page has been removed, but the cache is still there:

    (You’ll probably have to physically copy this into the search bar, it’s too long to link directly)
    He is a member of the advisory board. Social justice? (Hmmm. Sounds good, I’ll have some, please). It was set up by Iain Duncan Smith in 2004. (Oh. Just a minute, waiter. Can I have a look at the bottle?). It promotes making those famous IDLE SHIRKING SCROUNGERS WORK (for nothing) among other things. Fine, says Habba (not that I’d know). But just a little contentious, eg;

    Clearly, Offord is in a position to advise government on policy*. Let’s not wonder why or how. Looks like a safe pair of hands, that’s all.

    *These things happen. Rather a lot:

  79. Bit late for a grassroots unionist campaign now.

  80. Nrs Grimble Are you a tr-ll newly arrived here?

  81. After reading the whole post, great investigative work Craig. Thanks for exposing this.

  82. Sorry,this is OT,but….
    I posted a comment last night on the Guardian website about their article on “freedom of the press”.

    My post was basically a list of 48 of the Guardian’s OWN recent headlines – my criticism of their fearmongering and bias re Scottish independence.

    On the advice of another CiFer I took a screenshot of my post in case it was taken down –
    which it was a few minutes later.

    My original post listed 48 recent headlines,though the links below to the screenshots miss out the middle ones as there wasn’t enough room in two pics.


    2 May, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Fandanfan; The Guardian has made a shift to the Dark Side lately, as well. Surrendering all their Snowden files is the harbinger.

  84. Mary,

    Mrs Grimble may be a troll, alternatively she may not be a fan of half-baked conspiracy theories which inevitably involve a connection Israel.


    2 May, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    Well, technically they didn’t ‘surrender’. :)

    “It resulted in one of the stranger episodes in the history of digital-age journalism. On Saturday 20 July, in a deserted basement of the Guardian’s King’s Cross offices, a senior editor and a Guardian computer expert used angle grinders and other tools to pulverise the hard drives and memory chips on which the encrypted files had been stored.

    As they worked they were watched by technicians from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who took notes and photographs, but who left empty-handed”

  86. John Currie

    2 May, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    Yes will win over no, good over evil . Great article, sharing now

  87. Yeah,what gets me is the Guardian self-image of “progressive,left leaning” etc.
    A lot of people are still fooled by that – at least with the Daily Mail most…MOST!…
    people know what they’re getting.

    I’ve been a Guardian reader for around 30 years,and I don’t remember such a sustained and cynical attack on anything that ticks their boxes so much as indy SHOULD!

    I’m ashamed now that I’ve spoke up for (and recommended) the Guardian to people not only in Scotland,but in other countries where I’ve lived.


    2 May, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    “I’m ashamed now that I’ve spoke up for (and recommended) the Guardian to people not only in Scotland,but in other countries where I’ve lived.”

    No shame necessary. Paul Revere had to change horses several times on his famous ride. :)

  89. Which ‘conspiracy theories’ would they be Mick?

  90. Chee Bai Charlie

    2 May, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Craig, I’m curious to know how many hits you’re getting for this article and where they’re from?

  91. Note the piece appears to have been recut this afternoon. Wee old lady has gone. I find the newsreader in cue the only slack element now. Somebody has had a slap albeit a mild one.

  92. Fiona Gilmore founded Acanchi in 2003, with the purpose of specialising in country brand capital development. Acanchi was created to advise governments on how to devise compelling positioning strategies to enhance a country’s competitive advantage and help build pride amongst local people, celebrating shared values and talents. Fiona’s project experience is worldwide – over the past twenty years she has become a leading expert on country positioning strategy. She has published a number of articles on this subject and has worked with many countries and regions around the world helping to sharpen and focus their offer, including: Hong Kong, Bahrain, Mauritius, Dubai (code of behaviour study), Israel, Dominican Republic, England, Wales, Zambia, Rwanda, Lagos (pilot study), Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Lebanon and the Blue Mountains Region in Australia.

    Wonder what she said about Israel and how much they paid her?

    Gary Waple, described as an Associate at the PRA, BoE on

    does not feature on the website

    and does not come up in a search for his name there.

    There is a Rosalind Gilmore there but I am sure she has nothing to do with Fiona!

    LOL Mick and Mrs Grimble.

  93. The brief biographies of Malcolm Offord metion that he was ‘born at 33 Bank Street, Greenock’.

    Why the specific details?? What purpose does that serve?

    (on checking Goole Maps, it is rather a posh hoose!)

  94. Cancel your TV licence – defund the scum.

  95. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    Big up National Collective, who have also been busy:


    2 May, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    Another auspicious referendum.

    “With the recent news that the Rolling Stones will be playing their first-ever concert in Israel, and at what is a critical time in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom and equal rights, we, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd, have united in support of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), a growing, nonviolent global human rights movement initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to end Israel’s occupation, racial discrimination and denial of basic Palestinian rights”

  97. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 4:20 pm

    The brief biographies of Malcolm Offord metion that he was ‘born at 33 Bank Street, Greenock’.

    Why the specific details?? What purpose does that serve?

    Undoubtedly it was on the beautifully crafted press handout which some dim fuck of a sub c&p’d into the article. It’s to demonstrate that Offord, despite having a Cambridgeshire name, is authentically Sco’ish, hoots mon where’s yer troosers.

  98. From 1958 to 1973, Mrs Grimble was the keeper of the ‘Government War Book’.

  99. Chee Bai Charlie

    About 16,000 so far, bit over half from Scotland

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