BBC Propaganda Hits New All-Time Low 219

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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219 thoughts on “BBC Propaganda Hits New All-Time Low

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  • Abe Rene

    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. 🙁

  • Tony

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

  • jdman

    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?

  • DougtheDug

    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?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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.

  • tristan

    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.

  • Les Wilson

    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.

  • Papadox

    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?

  • Roger Whittaker

    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

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

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

  • Camilla Kaczinski

    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.

  • Camilla Kaczinski

    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.

  • craig Post author

    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.

  • rob royston

    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.

  • fred

    “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.

  • craig Post author


    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?

  • Andy Borland

    “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?”

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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.

  • fred

    “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.

  • Salford Lad

    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.

  • craig Post author


    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.

  • craig Post author

    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.

  • Bert

    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

  • craig Post author


    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!

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