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.


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

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  • Mary

    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.

  • naebd


    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.

  • craig Post author

    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?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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 :

  • craig Post author


    “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! 🙂

  • Juteman

    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.

  • craig Post author

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

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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.

  • craig Post author


    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)

  • Mosstrooper

    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”

  • guano

    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.

  • bunter

    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.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • Bert

    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.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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.

  • Juteman

    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • Tutuanatiaratoo

    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

  • muttley79

    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.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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?

  • craig Post author


    “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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • Juteman

    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.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    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.

  • Sooz

    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.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    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.

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