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. Excellent sleuthing. I have already phoned a complaint to the BBC citing your excellent detailed work and that of Wings. This should now be taken up with phoned complaints by everyone who reads this article. We could make the story into the story of this bogus group’s background and thus the BBC’s compliance with putting out false ‘No’ propaganda. Please everyone take this up.

  2. Well said fandafan, it was up long enough for three people to recommend it and you have a copy of the site, your right as the publisher, in my humble view, have you shared this on facebook yet?

    I would have recommended it as well, so don’t despair.

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

    2 May, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    Offord is also a donor to Michael Gove. Say no more. Please.

  4. Chee Bai Charlie

    2 May, 2014 - 4:29 pm

    Dear Domestic Extremist, Interesting point about TV licence fees. I always wondered why I had to pay a licence to have the piss taken out of me. Now that sounds rather flippant but I really mean it.

  5. Dorothy Devine

    2 May, 2014 - 4:46 pm

    Brilliant Craig!

    Now how about somebody in the MSM following your lead and headlining this information and the distortion promoted by the BBBC?

    Ach! A foolish notion , there are no journalists in the MSM with integrity in Scotland or the rest of the UK .

    Sad really that they are so short sighted that they don’t realise their jobs are in jeopardy no matter which way we vote in the referendum, for there are many who will never forgive their duplicity.


    2 May, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    OK; Who is Mr and Mrs. Grimble?

  7. Wonder if her African ventures bring her into contact with BLiar at all?

    ‘The Chairman of the world leading country positioning specialist, Acanchi, Ms. Fiona Gilmore, visited Sierra Leone recently to offer advice on the re-branding of Sierra Leone. Planning her trip to coincide with SLIEPA’s ‘Sierra Leone Investment Partnership Forum,’ she held discussions with various stakeholders including Government, parastatals, members of the private sector and international agencies.

    Ms. Gilmore, author of ‘Brand Warriors – China,’ an analysis of China’s leading brands, has previously helped countries such as Rwanda, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Lebanon to develop their brand identities, and believes that the time is right for Sierra Leone to change its image in the world saying, ‘Sierra Leone must shake off the negative images associated with its past. There are new promising stories emerging that must be highlighted.’

    Commenting on her visit Ms. Gilmore observed that the potential within Sierra Leone today is clear as successive Governments have worked hard to create a fertile environment for investors and the business friendly approach is paying dividends as can be seen from the investments already established in the country.

    “I was impressed at the Investment Partnership Forum, with the endorsements from world class organisations such as African Minerals, Cape Sierra Hilton Hotel and London Mining. By being here one can appreciate the spirit of the place and I feel a palpable energy and momentum amongst Sierra Leone’s communities. Sierra Leone is poised to become one of Africa’s best investment destinations in the next few years, bringing jobs for Sierra Leoneans. Whilst there are inevitably obstacles to growth, I am excited at what I have seen for myself, from the dedication and welcome of the fishermen on Lumley beach to the expertise of the new generation mining companies,” she noted.’


  8. 16,000 is an impressive number but how many in Scotland watch BBC news daily? I bet you’re counting in the hundreds of thousands.

    Come the vote we’ll maybe understand a little more the internet’s ability to combat an onslaught of corporate-state propaganda. Personally I suspect the answer will not be good. Hope I’m wrong.

    FWIW I don’t do social media but have put this on indymedia and sent out an email. I am struggling to know where to put it. It’s not really relevant to radical sites.

  9. I have just seen one of those Keep Calm posters on another website.

    Coloured red, underneath the emblem of the crown it says:






    Copies to Lord Patten and BBC Trustees, please Miss Jones.

  10. BBC have reported on Radical Independence campaign on their website.

    I’ve never seen them on their TV news, though i suppose its possible i’ve missed it as i don’t watch much BBC due to endless coverage of the royals.

  11. doug scorgie

    2 May, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    2 May, 2014 – 2:11 pm

    “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.

    From the link you give ESLO:

    “In his GQ interview, Campbell sought to establish Salmond’s view of the Russian president…”
    Salmon: “Well, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but he is more effective than the press he gets and you can see why he carries support in Russia.”

    “Admire him?‚” asked Campbell.

    Salmond replied: “Certain aspects. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the intermesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally; they are lovely people.”

    Now ESLO, what is wrong with what Salmond said?

    Can you explain yourself?

  12. @nevermind – Cheers.I’m not on Facebook btw,but anyone can share the links if they like.

    I only discovered this site today,through CiF,so I suppose the Guardian has its uses.

    I visit WOS every day,Derek Bateman too,so I’ll be here regularly now too.

    The disinformation in the MSM is astounding – I know quite a few people who are seldom or never online,
    but hopefully the message from sites like this is gradually filtering through.

    Thanks Craig for the work you put in,and for putting that work out there.
    It’s much appreciated,and obviously it goes further than even independence.

  13. O/T but some disturbing live scenes from Odessa right now. Some links and pics at

  14. Bugger (the Panda.)

    2 May, 2014 - 6:20 pm


    The following link goes to Wings over Scotland’s recent piece on their blog stats for April.

    They show over 600,000 unique readers, since January and about 4,000,000 pageviews in April.

    Remember, unlike Craigs blog, the focus of Wings is uniquely Scottish Referendum.

    In contrast the Scotsman sells about 30,000 editions per day.

  15. Live video of fire brigade attempting rescue of pro-Russians trapped inside building set on fire with them inside –

    More links in squonk thread.

  16. George Kelly

    2 May, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    This picture was taken in the Glasgow city chambers. The lord provost is Sadie Docherty. The lady in white is my mother in law Anne M Stuart MBE. Chairperson of Cassiltoun Trust.
    The lady in red is Elizabeth Bashir of Cardonald Community Council. The gentleman is a Mr John Glasgow who was evacuated with his mum during the 2nd world war to Glasgow. He was put into Castlemilk Childrens home at that time when his mother became ill and died in Glasgow. Ms Bshir, my mother in law and the lord provost helped Mr Glasgow to find his mothers grave in Glasgows sighthill cemetery. Ms Bashir was a nurse in the home before it was demolished in 1969. This was in the Glasgow Times newspaper and that is probably where this “Borders mod stole it from.

  17. Just expect the BBC to have a go at Alex Salmond, thanks to Kevin Toolis’ view of a Yes vote ushering in a Scottish history reminiscent of what the IRA did in Ireland.

    It’s been set up by the arrest of Gerry Adams for allegedly leading the murder of British tout Jean McConnville.

  18. Great piece of investigative journalism Craig. Well it could hardly be left to MSM could it?

    Done a short blog. Will start sharing tomorrow.

  19. Should we all go to this?

    The Future of the BBC

    Date: Wednesday 14 May 2014
    Time: 6.30-8pm
    Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
    Speaker: Lord Patten

    Lord Patten will speak about the ‘Future of the BBC’ in a wide-ranging public lecture which will consider the ways the corporation needs to adapt within Britain’s changing broadcasting and political environment. Controversy has been a notable feature of the BBC’s recent past and is likely to remain an ever-present challenge. Chris Patten is one of the country’s most respected public figures who, as chairman of the BBC, finds himself charged with securing its future.

    Christopher Patten is a former Conservative MP. He is now chairman of the BBC Trust and chancellor of the University of Oxford.

  20. As a former taxpayer I should like some assurance that the £400,000 is not coming out of our pockets.

  21. An absolute embarrassment of riches from you at present, Craig. On the Guardian website at present the comments on this story are well worth reading. “Busted” doesn’t begin to cover it. Just love it when any part of the Neocon train shows signs of a serious derailment.

  22. The Medialens editors have posted the Wings Over Scotland report on this BBC campaigning.

    Independence referendum: scrutiny of a BBC News report on the No Borders campaign

    The BBC maintain that they are independent. Links here if you can work your way through the pdfs.


    2 May, 2014 - 7:59 pm

    Current events might call for a post, Craig.

    “Wondering why Treasury yields plumb new depths, gold’s having its best day in a month, and stocks can’t keep a bid no matter how many times JPY or VIX is slammed? The answer lies in these disturbing images from Odessa which show Pro-Russian forces under attack by Ukrainian forces, buildings burning, deaths, and of course – most critically – the kind of anti-Russian actions that Vladimir Putin said was the red-line for him taking action…”

  24. Gavin Esler has always had a bad smell to him, he’s never come across as an independent journalist.
    I’m glad to see from the Wikipedia link that he’s now off Newsnight – I thought I hadn’t seen him for a while. Good riddance. Hopefully he’ll retire soon and the average standard of all BBC output will rise a tiny bit.

  25. Sorry O/T again but…

    Reuters World ‏@ReutersWorld 5m

    Correction: 38 people killed in building fire in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa, not 32 as previously reported.

    Reuters World ‏@ReutersWorld 14m

    32 people killed in building fire in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa: Ukrainian police

  26. Charles Kearney

    2 May, 2014 - 8:22 pm

    What is so cynical in this, fore bye the Political Chicanery, is the Personal Element involved. The Young Lassies singing the Song will be lambasted when the whole story comes out, when I’m sure their ‘Political’ nous and input will be little more than derisory.

    Actually I could not catch a word they sang and perhaps no more than a Tenner of the Four Hundred Thousand Pounds Launch of this Front for Cameron, went into the production values!

  27. Strategist. He does the film review with Mark Kermode and chairs Dateline which is a discussion between foreign journalists. I think I have seen him on Hardtalk too. A safe pair of hands for the propaganda machine. Film Review Dateline

  28. The Barking-mad Broadcasting Corporation, aka ZBC aka PinocchioVison, might have excelled even this in tonights dross piece on NATO exercises in the Baltic and Estonia, the justification is given as stopping the ‘contagion’ in Ukraine from spreading. It is hilarious given that NATO, the US and its lapdogs are are entirely responsible for starting and sustaining the events in Ukraine too. It’s Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya/Syria all over again, our leaders are a blight on humanity and the earth. The contagion emanates from Washington and London and state propaganda peddlers are the means of transmission.

    No longer can this shameful propaganda mouthpiece and extortioner continue to spin such audacious webs of blatant lies excusing the out of control dangerous and insane western elite who’re pulling their strings. The people have awoke, no-one should and no-one will take any of the BBC’s news output with anything other than incredulity and apoplexy, alternating with gales of laughter –before cutting off their funding at the first opportunity. Pensioners over-75 who receive free TV licenses could well have a strong argument for insisting on the concession being paid instead to them in cash back from the residue of the late unlamented corporation’s swollen coffers after its extermination.

  29. Sofia Kibo Noh

    2 May, 2014 - 9:14 pm

    “It took me an hour with google to find all this.”

    WOW! Who knows what else Uncle Craig would have turned up if he’d used DuckDuckGo or Startpage.

    “Brilliant! This post is currently being read by more than one person every two seconds.” Those bloody speed-readers are taking over!.

    “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.” Yes! This conversation needs to go viral. Thanks.

    My favoutite bit is Gavin Esler: “No Borders say the Union has been a great hit worldwide for three hundred years.” WTF?

    Great to see this post flushing out so many new commentors. Hello everyone, and welcome.

    All the talk about branding has made me decide to be a brand myself when I grow up. With my amazing intelect, stunning good looks, breathtaking modesty and Dad’s negotiating genes, what could possibly go wrong?

  30. ‘A new grassroots pro-Union group called No Borders launches later to make what it says is an “emotional” appeal to voters.

    Its spokesman, Malcolm Offord, is an investment banker originally from Greenock who now works in London and Scotland. He said the group’s aim was to engage with voters’ emotions and promote “ordinary voices”.

    Mr Offord told the BBC: “It is going to allow people to tell their stories. These are not polished political voices but they are from local communities within Scotland and they are going to give the reasons why they want to keep the Union.”

    Grassroots support

    The No Borders campaign is hoping to raise £400,000 through individual donations and crowd funding and it plans to spend almost all of that before the official referendum period begins on 30 May.’

    1 May 2014
    Scottish independence: Questions raised over campaign spending rules
    By Lucy Adams
    BBC News

  31. Sofia Kibo Noh

    2 May, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    Ba’al. 1 29 pm

    Thanks for the link.

    I think I’m getting the hang of this branding game.

    “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….

    Well, what does he expect when Israel disposess a whole nation then spends the next 60+ years beating, shooting, kidnapping, bulldozing, starving and bombing the survivors?

  32. Ben

    Stop trying to derail this thread


    2 May, 2014 - 9:47 pm

    Craig; Are you annoyed with me as a commentator? What is the specific problem with me, other than my geography?

    Ben: There is a thread about freemasonry. Stick to the right thread, that is all.

  34. I live in the Borders and my impression is that the Yes campaign is not very strong here. I wasn’t too keen myself until Lord George Robertson told us that voting Yes would make the sky fall in.

    Actually Craig’s story comes straight out of Thomas Piketty’s thesis (see his book Capitalism in the 21st Century) that the rich are coming to control not just the economy but politics, and by extension the media. They will then undermine and destroy democracy itself.
    It’s a shame that the BBC is playing this game when it can afford to be impartial. Abolish the TV licence fee and then we’ll all know that the Beeb is a capitalist pawn.

  35. BrianFujisan

    2 May, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Excellent post Craig… Wow

    Ans as Sofia say many new posters Good stuff…

    Craig – ” I can’t find a birth certificate for a Malcolm Offord, Greenock, 1964.”

    i shall be popping into the Greenock registry Office on monday…see if any light can be shone Re a Malcolm Offord…

    And sharing on Fbook.

    Great work Craig

  36. I see Offord has found a connection to the royals in the form of P Anne. She is the patron of some outfit where he is a trustee. Social enterprise or some such. A salve for the conscience perhaps if one has worked in the world of buyouts and asset stripping.

    This is the website for the private equity outfit where he used to be a partner. Smooth website as are the feeders.

    In their portfolio is a company called Tunstall specializing in ‘telecare’ and ‘telehealth’.

    This will contribute large profits as it is a high growth area. The ConDem NHS plan is to withhold hospital care for the chronic sick and elderly and to keep those people at home (in the community!) using electronic monitoring. Believe it or not there are already virtual wards where the professionals sit round a table and perform virtual ward rounds.


    2 May, 2014 - 10:06 pm

    Craig; That is not an answer. You seem to be ambivalent wrt nominally related issues from others, but are particularly upset by my posts, as a rule. Is Hab the issue?

    No, I can’t remember ever deleting any of your comments before. I might argue sometimes but that’s the fun of the blog. I don’t oversee other moderators so possibly you had a spat I don’t know about. The answer I gave really is the truth – I am particularly not keen to let this blog be derailed. I have deleted comments from others on this particular thread for the same reason. I am not annoyed with you, or with anyone else apart from Gavin Bloody Esler! Just deleted Mike for off-topic too. I intend to blog on Ukraine tomorrow, as soon as I can get a more certain idea of what’s really happening. At the moment I want to keep the focus on this British government front and its plugging by the BBC. If that leads more people to understand the wider lies of today’s BBC, that too is good.

  38. Hamish Burgess

    2 May, 2014 - 10:22 pm

    Saw the article on BBC News 24. Quite frankly if this record came out before I knew about it being a song I would have thought it was a group called ‘Cats being castrated for the UK’. It reminded me of The Cats Chorus.


    2 May, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    Very well, Craig. I understand. However you seemed to ascribe improper motives when you said I was TRYING to derail the thread.

    I thought it was uncalled for, and still do.

  40. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    2 May, 2014 - 10:38 pm


    I realise that both the thrust and tone (style, if you will)of your post are a reflection of your very personal interest in the forthcoming referendum and your wish for a yes vote.

    That said, your chefs d’accusation appear to be

    1/. that the BBC devoted too much airtime to this new “movement” (“puff piece”) and that it either knew – or failed to find out through lack of research – that

    2/. the campaign is not a genuine grassroots campaign but a government-organized fake, lauched, organized and sponsored by

    3/. a couple of individuals of whose other connections, activities and donations
    you disapprove. This latter point has been taken up enthusiastically by some of the usual suspects (who have dug out a lot of information) as well as by some new contributors

    Re Pt 1/., it is not unknown for the BBC to inadequately research its news items. Furthermore, my experience with the BBC news is that it very often repeats the same piece of news in every news broadcast throughout the day…and then drops it completely the next day when a newer bit of “news” comes along. It is this which seels to have happened with this news item, of which I haven’t heard a peep today.

    Re all three points : you will, I’m sure, remember the 1975 referendum on whther the UK should stay in the EC (as was). You will, therefore, remember that the BBC gave considerably more airtime to the Yes campaign (“Britain in Europe”)than to the No campaign (“National Referendum Campaign”). You will also remember that the press was overwhelmingly in favour of the Yes camapaign. You will also remember, finally, that the govt of the time gave £125.000 to each campaign and that, after donations from institutions, various organizations and individuals (mainly Tory,) the Yes campaign disposed of a war chest of around £1,5 million and the No campaign of roughly £130.000; and that contributors to the Yes campaign included Shell, Marks and Spencer, GKN, Vickers, Ford, IBM, Reed, Rank, Legal and General, Sun Alliance and Unilever – ie, the sort of capitalist bogeymen that probably keep many of your followers on this blog awake at night.

    So there seems to be some similarities between those two referendums.

    Now I know that you weren’t running a blog in 1975. But may I ask you the following, bearing in mind that you support the EU and UK membership of the EU (as indeed I do) : were you, at the time, as exercised by the conduct of the EC referendum as you appear to be by the conduct of the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence?


    2 May, 2014 - 10:55 pm

    Obviously Hab has claimed and overtaken the high ground.

    ‘cave, lector.’

  42. fair point – I just found I have a reply button!

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    2 May, 2014 - 10:57 pm

    The downside of such a silent deletion is of course that it removes the evidence that Mary was seeking to provoke me. Convenient for her image but a little sneaky, perhaps?

    But why does that matter? Damn, lost that reply button again. This comment will self destruct in two minutes.


    2 May, 2014 - 10:59 pm

    Eureka !

  45. Hamish

    To be perfectly fair, I thought they looked a very great deal better than they sang. By the time the recording studio have finished their jiggery-pokery, they will sound like they can sing in tune, I expect. You can do amazing things with 400,000 pounds.

  46. The Vote No Borders videos are deliberately vague, aiming to spread generalised doubts about the ‘unknown consequences’ of independence, without being specific, because if they mentioned any particular issues, these could be shown up as unfounded.
    The aim is to provoke the emotions of people who are undecided or unsure, leaving them with nagging worries as a gut feeling, in the hope this will outweigh rational decisionmaking be enough to make them vote for the security of the status quo.

    Anyone who is uneasy about the vague worries in the videos need only look to separate country Eire. Irish friends and relatives have no problem trading, collaborating, working visiting, playing sports, etc, with and in the other nations of the British Isles despite being outside the union. Why on earth would an independent Scotland be any different?

    The Irish play rugby as part of the Lions, showing independence should be no obstacle to Scotland participating in combined British Isles teams should they want to. The Irish remain a close part of our family of nations and so would a Scotland that’s chosen emancipation from Westminster rule.

  47. Habbie

    Perfectly relevant question but at 16 I don’t think I was politically sophisticated enough to know. That is not to say all 16 year olda are unsophisticated. But I was.

  48. Peacewisher – pl see conversation above with Ben on not derailing this thread onto Ukraine

  49. michael murphy

    2 May, 2014 - 11:28 pm

    The vote no borders videos of “unpolished” grass roots NO supporters are clearly filmed and produced by the same person not spontaneous self made clips. There is clearly someone prompting and they are actually edited in an inept fashion. The most disturbing aspect is the Acanchi PR folk have gone for a strategy not of engendering fear of independence or even positivity for the union but just downright apathy and lack of engagement. The underlying message is dont think you can do anything political or effect any change its best if you just vote NO and muddle along without upsetting the boat.

  50. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    2 May, 2014 - 11:30 pm


    Fair enough. But you know enough about (the virtual)me to have guessed that I can’t resist this follow-up: now that you do know, do you have the same feelings about the conduct of the 1975 EC referendum as you do about the forthcoming Scottish one?

  51. BrianFujisan @22.00 said, ‘I can’t find a birth certificate for a Malcolm Offord, Greenock, 1964

    ScotlandsPeople gives 1 result for a Malcolm Offord being born in Greenock in 1964

  52. I shall find it difficult to sleep peacefully tonight. This is what comes of reading Wings, Craig Murray and Derek Bateman on the “Vote No Borders” scandal which has revealed just how perfidious and unscrupulous the UK establishment and its unabashed principal propagandist, the venal BBC, really are. As each day passes, I become more and more enraged. Enraged by the increasingly blatant viciousness and duplicity of the archtects and manipulators of the No campaign and enraged because their actions are spawning a terrible legacy of mistrust and animosity which will destroy for many a year any mutual respect between the populations of the British Isles. I cannot believe that any member of the Scottish electorate who knows even a fraction of what is being orchestrated by Westminster, its agents and its allies would wish to continue to have all fundamental political and economic decisions taken by such a true “parcel of rogues”. To all the “Undecideds” and even the innocent but uninformed “Noes”, my earnest plea is, “For whatever hope in the future you have, OPEN YOUR EYES!”

  53. Craig… Through Odessa reporting I was giving another example of outrageous BBC bias (or downright untruth…) Current debate on the BBC about Scotland is highly biased, but not the only example. The only place you can get unbiased commentary is BBC Sport.

  54. BrianFujisan

    3 May, 2014 - 12:18 am


    Thanks for that…but it’s Craig’s words that you Quote.

    I live in Inverclyde… i’ll look into the matter on Monday

    P.s as Sofia says… Welcome all newbees.

  55. Don’t be fooled Michael Murphy: the videos not look much to you, but they’re quite carefully engineered to pick at the worries of conventional thinkers who are change-averse, which is a very significant demographic including many older folks, and worry them into voting No. They make independence seem like a huge frightening risk, by showing such people that others who seem like them are really concerned, but being careful not to let on any reasons why they’re worried, as any facts would be vulnerable to being shown false by the Yes campaign. This is far more canny than it appears, and should be taken seriously.

  56. “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.”

    Go ahead and prove you are a censoring hypocrite if you like. Show you’re no different than the people you criticise.

    I made my point and it’s a valid one. I don’t see too much wrong with people singing. Intimidating people to prevent them speaking is akin to fascism.

  57. Fred

    I am just trying to draw out of you what you think of Mr Esler’s work and of Mr Offord

  58. Am I right in thinking that Acanchi’s involvement in Israel was during the invasion of Gaza? There were some pretty shocking incidents in that operation as I recall.

  59. There is another Offord here – Matthew – who is a Tory MP and, surprise surprise, was previously a “political analyst” at the BBC. Why do we pay for those at the BBC? No obvious Scots connection, but a second senior Tory called Offord with an in to the BBC – I wonder if they are related in any way.

  60. Esler was spotted at a young age as a pliable useful idiot.

    They always try to spot ’em young.

    What do ya think your professor and Dean were really at Uni for?

    Your grades?

    Ho ho ho..

  61. quick google brought up Shows a Gary Waple at the same address as another lady by the name of Gilmore who by 2013 is at another London address (alone) now surnamed Waple.

    In other words, it appears that Waple and Gilmore are in-laws; or related by marriage in some way, anyway.

  62. From Duedil: [The age of this indiviual matches that on It’s possible that he’s an older generation in-law of Fiona Gilmore rather than brother-in-law.]

    Mr Gary Waple FCA MBA
    Ex-Director of Acanchi Limited
    Born 58 years ago: 1956
    Nationality: British
    Mr Gary Waple is British and was born in 1956. The first directorship we have on file for him was in 2006 at Acanchi Limited. His newest directorship was with Acanchi Limited where he held the position of “Chartered accountant”. The company was established 14 Mar 2003 .

  63. More on the in-laws from
    Fiona Gilmore’s family and Gary Waple’s family have lived at the same Hampstead property (can’t tell if it would be same apartment or not)
    By 2013, (see my earlier post) the female relative of Fiona’s had moved and also had become Mrs Gary Waple.

  64. Grassroots initiative – Hampstead family business!

  65. Habbabkuk

    Excellent question at 10:38 pm.

    Now that Craig is sufficiently sophisticated and well versed in state propaganda, perhaps he would like to comment on the £millions the BBC receives in funding from the EU, and the bearing this may or may have on its evident bias towards continued UK membership. Not immediately on-topic, but relevant to the above post and perhaps something for a future investigation? I’m sure he is absolutely fuming about it.

    And kudos to you for making that point about the 1975 referendum despite being pro-EU yourself.

  66. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 7:51 am

    “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. ”

    Search Scotland’s People for Renfrew and you will find one – he is as Scottish as you are.

    Always nice to start the day by squashing another conspiracy theory.

  67. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 7:54 am

    For the less well informed Greenock belonged to the old Scottish county of Renfrewshire.

  68. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 8:11 am

    Anyone who knows the political scene and media in Scotland will know that it is a virtual certainty that every aspect of the referendum from every perspective will be covered and then that both sides will engage in endless ritual mudslinging at the other – working out who is slinging mud at whom, as in this example, is a pretty pointless exercise. I’m afraid this is how politics are conducted in Scotland – and I suspect most ordinary Scottish voters, including even the 16 year old ones, are thoroughly sick of it already and past experience will allow them to extract the genuine facts out of either side’s mud.

  69. Why do certain contributors here use the phrase ‘conspiracy theories’ so often? Is it the Aaronovitch effect?

  70. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 8:27 am


    “…perhaps he would like to comment on the £millions the BBC receives in funding from the EU,…”


    Does it receive anything? I’m doubtful, but feel free to develop that and show me I’m wrong!


    “And kudos to you for making that point about the 1975 referendum despite being pro-EU yourself.”


    Well, what I presented about the 1975 referendum was just facts – facts which were known to some extent at the time but which of course became more evident with the passage of time and with the benefit of hindsight.

    As Craig surely understood – and as you do too – the point I was trying to make by asking him the question was that there’s an entirely human tendency when analysing any (propaganda) campaign to overlook or at least not to criticise imbalances such as the ones I identified when the intended result is one which the commenter supports and to do the opposite when the intended result is one which the commenter opposes.

    And also that, in general, the intended result should stand or fall on the merits of the case itself (insofar as these can be ascertained) and is neither validated nor invalidated by the moral quality of (some of) those who seek to bring it about.

  71. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 May, 2014 - 8:39 am

    “I’m afraid this is how politics are conducted in Scotland.”

    Of course.

    BBC, Broadcasting House, London, Scotland.

    No Borders, 24 Chiswell Street, London, EC2Y 4YX, Scotland.

    You have a thankless task RD educating the tin hat brigade. I bet, despite your efforts, the conspiracy theorists will ignore you and continue to bleat on about interference from England.

  72. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 May, 2014 - 8:47 am

    For the less well informed, London, despite it’s slightly southern location, has always been a part of the old Scottish county of Renfrewshire.

  73. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 8:47 am

    Why do certain contributors here use the phrase ‘conspiracy theories’ so often?

    It is a polite euphemism and a convenient shorthand for the mechanism commonly used here whereby certain other contributors start with a political position (almost always the same one) and then use selective facts, insinuations, half truths and occasionally outright porkies in order to support and justify that position, and then in the worst cases use it as a basis for outright condemnation and disavowal of those who disagree with the political position.

    Mr Aaronovitch has produced a useful book outlining many examples of this technique – but please be assured I for one was well aware of its existence before reading his book. Of course any favourable reference to Mr Aaronovitch automatically means relegation to the league of non persons (or worse).

  74. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 8:49 am

    “I bet, despite your efforts, the conspiracy theorists will ignore you and continue to bleat on about interference from England.”

    Not with me.

  75. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 8:52 am

    BBC, Broadcasting House, London, Scotland.

    No Borders, 24 Chiswell Street, London, EC2Y 4YX, Scotland.

    And where does Craig live – or yourself and the other supporters of Scottish Nationalism on this blog?

  76. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 May, 2014 - 8:58 am

    “Mr Aaronovitch has produced a useful book outlining many examples of this technique.”

    RD. While I agree the book has a use, I have to to be honest with you and point out that the paper is too scratchy and the pages doon’t tear away very neatly.

    In my opinion Mr Aaronovitch could do better. But then, if it works for you…

  77. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 9:08 am

    ““Mr Aaronovitch has produced a useful book outlining many examples of this technique.”

    RD. While I agree the book has a use, I have to to be honest with you and point out that the paper is too scratchy and the pages doon’t tear away very neatly.”

    Lavatory “humour”?

    I’d bet 10 shekels that Bogbrush hasn’t read the book.

    But I’m told that most Bogbrushes lack literacy skills anyway :)

  78. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 May, 2014 - 9:10 am


    Where any of us live has no bearing on the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order.

  79. Airdrieonian

    3 May, 2014 - 9:10 am

    @Resident Dissident

    Wow. Such a sweeping generalisation of the political and media scene in Scotland. That’s not my experience.
    The “ritual mudslinging” is coming, almost exclusively, from one side of the debate, which may, indeed, cause the “ordinary Scottish voters” to become “thoroughly sick of it’.
    But that’s probably the point, isn’t it?

  80. “All the talk about branding has made me decide to be a brand myself when I grow up. With my amazing intelect, stunning good looks, breathtaking modesty and Dad’s negotiating genes, what could possibly go wrong?”

    Let’s hope Sofia you got more than your stunning good looks from your mum! :)

    As you say, welcome to all the newcomers.

  81. “I am just trying to draw out of you what you think of Mr Esler’s work and of Mr Offord”

    I have now seen the Newsnight piece broadcast on the 30th.

    They made it clear the campaign was financed by Malcolm Offord, they say he is an investment banker, they tell you he made a large donation to the Conservative party. So when you said “Malcolm Offord, it turns out, has donated over 120,000 pounds to the Conservative Party” and “mysteriously acquired start-up cash of 400,000 pounds with no declared origin.” I assume you were trying to mislead people into thinking they had tried to hide something. You said you found out about Offord from tracing the registration of the web site.

    Oh and nowhere in the piece did they claim it to be a grassroots campaign. They said it was a campaign aimed at the grassroots.

  82. If the term Fourth Estate is one applied to describe the ‘press’, traditionally the printed version, what term can we use to describe the televisual and audio versions?

  83. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 9:30 am

    “Where any of us live has no bearing on the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order.”

    I never said otherwise. Freedom of speech also means that English residents whether they are Mr Offord or Craig have the right to comment on the Scottish referendum.

  84. Robert Campbell

    3 May, 2014 - 9:33 am

    everyone should switch off BBC ( London Pravda ) and you would not have to listen to the CRAP


  85. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 9:33 am


    Do you really seriously want to entertain the view that there is no mud slinging from the Nationalist side – and that it comes almost exclusively from the other side?

  86. Important.


    Posted on May 2, 2014

    Consternation and outraged gripped the Independence campaign as the BBC admitted funnelling at least three quarters of a million pounds (at today’s equivalent value) of public money in kickbacks to the CBI.

    cbi since 1980

    The revelation came buried in an online BBCNews report where James Cook, Scotland Correspondent, of BBC News, reported:

    ‘The corporation said it had been a member “since at least 1980″ and its membership was linked to investment in development and training in the creative industries.’

    suitcase of pounds

    The BBC had previously stated it had been secretly a member of the CBI “for at least ten years“.

    We ourselves contacted the BBC and asked why the had given this original statement of “at least ten years”, when they knew it to be grossly misleading, and why they had kept from licence holders for decades, the pertinent fact that they were bankrolling a partisan political organisation in violation of their charter.

    We still await an answer from the state funded broadcaster.

    The BBC throughout this referendum campaign has given generous ink and airtime to CBI claims of Scotland’s inability to govern itself and the cataclysmic consequences if it dare try.


    The headline is misleading. The sum is £750,000.

  87. The actual blurb here. 5,000 viewings in a day.

    I like the way that Esler stands beside the statue of the lion. A Scottish lion or an English lion?

    The singing IS dreadful.

    When will the royals be seconded into the No Borders/Better together campaign? They and the aristos do own a large part of Scotland after all.

    Scotland has the most inequitable land ownership in the west. Why?
    As the grouse season opens, reforms are gathering which would allow tenant farmers to buy their land and end centuries of privilege that have made the rich ever richer

  88. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 10:29 am

    Fred (09h21)

    Thank you for taking the trouble to find that out.

  89. Aaronvitch’s book Voodoo Histories is actually a rather poor treatment of the subject, in my view. One long extended and highly selective sneer that is short on the evaluation of evidence and long on ad homs. The agenda is laid out clearly in the table of contents – a sort of lazy ‘guilt by association’ in which the Dr David Kelly case stands on equal footing with the Da Vinci code. A number of eminent medical experts have gone on record to record their doubts about the Kelly suicide verdict, to belittle their genuinely held views by equating them with belief in the Da Vinci Code strike me as intellectually dishonest.

    The point is, history is full of conspiracies and to deny them all as an article of faith, which Aaronovitch does, is as vacuous as believing them all. Aaronovitch is aware of this but he just can’t bring himself to believe in any. The nearest he gets to a British conspiracy he subscribes to is the Zinoviev letter of 1924. Jim Crace in his Guardian ‘Digested Read’ column always finishes his piece with a one line summation of the book in question. With Voodoo Histories it would be, ‘Don’t worry, everything you’ve been told his true.’

  90. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 11:45 am

    Have you actually read the book?

    “One long extended and highly selective sneer that is short on the evaluation of evidence and long on ad homs.”

    Do you really believe that it would be possible to Aaronovitch to do an evaluation of all the evidence supporting various conspiracy theories in one book rather than a whole library? There are plenty of cases where he rebuts particular pieces of evidence if you care to look. And isn’t to say otherwise really just an ad-hom?

    As to saying he gives equal standing to the Da Vinci case and Dr David Kelly based on the the table of contents, rather than looking at what each chapter says, isn’t that a rather lazy association?

    “The point is, history is full of conspiracies and to deny them all as an article of faith”

    If you bothered to read the introduction you will see that it is clear that he doesn’t deny all conspiracies and he pretty clear what he is and isn’t targeting.

  91. ‘Have you actually read the book?’


  92. This should be right up your street Craig I got it off Facebook this morning, but do not know the origin.
    I do however consider it to be DYNAMITE!!
    Why the better together campaign are desperate to deceive.

    The underlying wealth of a nation is based on “securities”. The securities that you hold as a country will dictate how strong that your currency is and at what rate and how much money that you can borrow against these securities.
    e.g. .If you own your house outright you can borrow against that “security” as the bank know that they have your house as collateral Securities for most countries are based on gold reserves held or by oil, if you are lucky enough to have that resource.
    Forget everything else for a moment and think about this. ONE day after a YES vote everything changes for both Scotland and the RUK. Westminster know this and are absolutely terrified. One day after a YES vote the complete future oil reserves currently under the control of the UK government LEGALLY pass to Scotland and the RUK are left with less than 10% as defined by International maritime borders.
    The official handover will take longer but the markets will react immediately.
    The assessment of the future oil reserves held in Scottish waters are valued at anything between 1&4 TRILLION pounds!
    Maybe never in history have the people of a country had so much power in their own hands. These incredible assets will support any currency that Scotland chooses, will allow the nation to borrow at extremely attractive market rates and support a Scottish Central Bank should this be required at any time in the future.
    The RUK‘s fiscal position one day after Independence would be nothing short of a disaster.
    Without a currency Union with Scotland the pound will collapse and the credit rating of the RUK will plummet? The RUK will be forced to go to the markets with current debts of 1.4 Trillion pounds just having lost their greatest ever asset and futures securities against their massive debts.
    How do you think that they will be perceived?
    I would put it to better together that it is they, and not Scotland who need a currency Union and that is exactly what will happen in the event of a YES vote.
    Project fear have every reason to be frightened, losing the Scottish contribution to GDP and future Oil securities must be pretty much how the government of the day felt when they lost the American colonies.
    Imagine how C A Moron will feel!

  93. Habbabkuk

    “Does it receive anything? I’m doubtful, but feel free to develop that and show me I’m wrong!”

  94. Caadfael;

    Don’t be too dazzled by the wild estimates of North Sea Oil reserves. For a start off they don’t include the rising costs of extraction which is becoming increasing difficult as the fields mature.

  95. Airdrieonian

    3 May, 2014 - 3:03 pm

    @ Resident Dissedent

    That’s my experience.
    I live in Scotland.
    Project Fear has been the Playbook for the vast majority of the “old” media.
    The BBC in Scotland are a disgrace. Their TV, Radio and Internet content have a thin veneer of neutrality but their placing and emphasis of stories follow the same editorial line, which is pro-No.

    Believe what you like.

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 4:15 pm


    Thanks for those links! I’ve read a few of them and I must say find nothing especially reprehensible or sinister there. It appears that the grants are mostly for “research and development”, by which I understand not “R&D” but “research” and “development” (in foreign, non-1st world countries). In your “euroreferendum” website link Richard North – no friend of the EU, as you know – gives a lengthy list of various media-related development projects undertaken by the BBC in non-1st world countries for which it has received EU funding; while you could of course argue that the BBC doesn’t need to do those projects (in order to save its own and EU money), they seem reasonable enough to me. BTW, just in case Mary’s reading this, I’ll tell her that one of the projects Dr North lists is to help train and develop Palestinian journalists! :)

    Do we need to discuss this further when there is more important work at hand on this blog….(if you get my drift).?

  97. Perhaps some historians will remember the roles of the Cameron’s at Culloden who fought for England and whose direct descendant is in power today.

    My forebears founded the academy in Edinburgh and many schools especially in the north of Scotland, I think that the vote should be made in Scotland, made by Scottish people for the Scottish people and I am most certainly seeking to live in a post split Scotland myself if they carry the vote through for independence.

    At least I can say I come from a proud and ancient Scots family who never sold out for castles and land unlike a certain PM forebears…

  98. I’m still trying to understand what “[Esler’s]orgasmic voice” is.

  99. Ian Watson

    If they’d let my ancestor continue in effective military command, we wouldn’t have lost! Another story. When my parents lived at Incheswood I used to walk across Drumossie Moor to and from the pub. Coming back after midnight, it was extraordinary how many people you saw in the middle of the night, just quietly remembering, and remarkably often singing under their breath. Some things are burnt deep into a nation’s soul.

    But you are wrong about the Camerons. Lochiel was on our side. The Camerons played an extremely noble part throughout. It was my father’s middle name and is my son’s name. It wouldn’t be otherwise.

    One thing the unionists have done is give an entirely false picture of Culloden, including the absolute rubbish that there were more Scots on the English than the Jacobite side. Completely untrue, but drummed into people for generations.

  100. “If they’d let my ancestor continue in effective military command, we wouldn’t have lost! ”

    You a Jacobite then Craig? I wouldn’t have thought you’d have a lot of time for Catholicism or the Divine Right of Kings.

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