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Grassroots concreted over

Posted on May 14, 2014 by

Well, that was odd. No sooner had we posted a rather lightweight little piece this morning, revealing that the fake-grassroots “Vote No Borders” campaign had been in development since June 2012, than the story got a whole lot more interesting.

At first it seemed that the profile of a former internee and research assistant at Acanchi, the London PR firm behind the VNB campaign, had been deleted. We’d consciously avoided identifying the employee so as not to give the press an excuse for another “vile cybernat bullies” orgy, but the page now returned a “does not exist” error:

linkedin

However, our shadowy agents swiftly managed to establish that in fact it wasn’t gone but simply hiding. The person had changed the name on the profile and removed their picture, but if you knew the full name on the old profile you could still find it.

But that wasn’t the strange part.

acanchi3

Because the new entry was otherwise identical to the old one, right down to the bit about being a Grade 5 tuba player, except in one respect – all mention of working on the campaign that would become “Vote No Borders” has been removed.

Now that’s just weird. Making your profile harder to find is entirely understandable, if you fear that you might attract some unpleasant internet attention (even though your identity’s been protected). But having done that, to ALSO airbrush a perfectly legitimate and legal piece of your career out of history looks a little more suspicious.

The attempted rewriting of reality has been something of a theme of the No side in the referendum campaign. It’s a difficult thing to pull off in the internet age, but for some reason people keep trying, usually with the exact opposite outcome.

(In a previous life I documented a striking example of the so-called “Streisand Effect”, coincidentally also involving LinkedIn, at around the same time our internee left their first period of work with Acanchi.)

While we’ve happily highlighted the media hypocrisy around “Vote No Borders”, we also completely acknowledge its right to campaign. We’ve attempted to engage respectfully with its voters’ arguments. Its organisers might be millionaire Tory donors, but there’s no law against that. We disagree with its position on independence, but being on the other side isn’t something to be ashamed of.

So we’re not sure why anyone would be trying to cover up its history, unless there was something in there that someone wanted to hide. Rest assured that we’ll be looking.

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    Grassroots concreted over | Scottish Independence News

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149 to “Grassroots concreted over”

  1. Doug Daniel says:

    “Because the new entry was otherwise identical to the old one, right down to the bit about being a Grade 5 tuba player”

    Oh, so it’s Blair McDougall?

  2. Ian Brotherhood says:

    What is it with these people and brass instruments?

    If they’re here, waiting to see what revelation comes next, they might as well enjoy this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QLOBtR2tQ0

  3. Asaph says:

    If I was working in PR, I’d want to hide any involvement in the Vote No Borders campaign. Career suicide.

  4. Jim Watson says:

    Stu – I think you are making a moutain out of an air brushed molehill…

    As you state – “to ALSO airbrush a perfectly legitimate and legal piece of your career out of history looks a little more suspicious.”

    It may have been legit and legal but you are responsible for blowing the whole charade out of the water. If I had this on my profile I would also be deleting it for fear that people think, at worst, I am a useless charlatan who took part in trying to deliberately mislead voters or, at best, I am someone who does not fully understand the meaning of “grassroots”.

  5. Brotyboy says:

    Great confirmation of the initial suspicions surrounding the launch of this campaign.

    Rotten to the core.

  6. An investigative journalist working for a newspaper could have a field day with this. Pity there aren’t any.

  7. turnip_ghost says:

    *sigh* It would be so nice for a mainstream paper to work this level of investigative journalism!

  8. Peter Macbeastie says:

    My, fancy that. Attempts to airbrush reality. Bit of a Better Together and Tory speciality, that. I wonder if they’ll be able to say Esther McVey didn’t actually say what she said about food banks by airbrushing that? Doubtful, eh?

    I admit, I skimmed through the original post so much that I didn’t even notice where a name would have been, I was too busy laughing at Pollock… which is a type of fish.

    I agree that working for the opposition is nothing to be fundamentally ashamed of, but trying to get rid of the evidence that you have been just makes it look like you are. It just seems to be a massive overeaction to a piece where the person in question wasn’t even named.

    If I was a member of the Yes Scotland campaign team it would be smack in the middle of my profile. But then, our campaign isn’t operating like theirs is.

  9. TheItalianJob says:

    Stu. You’re just too quick and smart for them. We need people like you.

  10. Curious,

    To be fair to the person on LinkedIn, I do not disclose my entire working history either. Sometimes you do look back and think if it offers anything to your portfolio of work.
    Or whether it was just a job and does or does nor represent you.

    Though, this “grass roots” no boarders camp does smell very off on all fronts so cannot blame anyone (including the writers of this page) for researching into all contributing background aspects.

  11. Democracy Reborn says:

    The intern plays the tuba?

    Could they be a fellow member of Jean’s “brass band”?

    I think we should be told…

  12. sionnach says:

    One day – maybe – they will realise that there is no such thing as concrete where the internet is concerned. Even if they came up with a SuperNO campaign, you’d still find some kryptonite. Great detective work as always, Stu :)

  13. gerry parker says:

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”

    W Shakespeare.

  14. HandandShrimp says:

    I wonder if a journalist at the Sunday Herald might want to run with this too – the more eyes looking the better.

    There is something distinctly fishy about VNB. Its ducks are not all in a row (to mix metaphors somewhat)

  15. Oneironaut says:

    @Ian Brotherhood
    “What is it with these people and brass instruments?”

    You really don’t want to know…
    Not without large quantities of brain bleach and knowing you can never look at a trombone the same way again!

    I dunno about this. Two years of planning and someone forgets to delete their LinkedIn profile quickly enough to hide the evidence before the sinister shadowy cybernat agents find it?

    Methinks either a false lead or a sign of the same brand of brainwashed zombie commonly found working for our old buddies at BT.

    Or maybe even someone who decided they were playing for the wrong side after all and wanted to erase all evidence that it happened. I’m like that with a certain call centre I used to work for that will never ever appear on my CV!

  16. Oor Wullie says:

    Do you honestly expect newspapers to do anything on this when they print without critical comment the ludicrous nonsense spouted about Scottish Pensioners being short changed by Westminster because they don’t live long enough?

  17. wee162 says:

    Sorry for the off topic, but just on the unpublished poll, I think there’s a bit of law breaking going on. I’ve written about it a wee bit over at The Graun and a couple of folk suggested on Twitter I should attempt to get more folk to read it so here it is. Emailed the Electoral Commission last night fwiw.

    Aye, just checked the rules from the Electoral Commission. From a quick glance these seem the most relevant bits;

    All donations over £7,500 received after the Act received Royal Assent on 18 December 2013 must be reported in pre-poll reports, including those received before a campaigner is registered. So you will need to ensure you retain records of those, as well as all those received after you are registered.

    On who the campaigns are allowed to accept donations from;

    Registered campaigners must only accept donations from permissible donors.
    A permissible donor is:
    • An individual registered on a UK electoral register, including overseas electors and those leaving bequests
    • Most UK-registered companies
    • A UK-registered trade union
    • A UK-registered building society
    • A UK-registered limited liability partnership (LLP) that carries on business in the UK
    • A UK-registered friendly society
    • A UK-based unincorporated association that carries on business or other activities in the UK
    You can also accept donations from some types of trust.
    Please call us for further advice on donations from a trust.
    You must not accept donations from a political party, unless
    you are a designated lead campaigner at the referendum.
    Accepting a donation that isn’t permissible can be a criminal offence.

    On what amounts to a donation if it’s not in cash;

    You must put a value on any donation that is not money. The value of a donation is the difference between the value of what you receive and the amount (if any) you pay for it.
    If you are given property, goods or services free of charge, or at a non-commercial discount of more than 10%, you must value it at the market rate.

    Aye, a wee note to the Electoral Commission seems appropriate here since
    a) The Civil Service cannot be a registered participant and cannot make donations. They’re supposed to serve the entire country, not a single political campaign. That should go without saying, the fact that it doesn’t speaks volumes.
    b) Unless Better Together paid 45k for access to this report they have got this information as a donation.

    IF Better Together have had access to this poll, people are breaking electoral law with impunity. I’d like them to be held to account.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/scottish-independence-blog/2014/may/12/scotland-independence-church-reconciliation#comment-35607935

  18. Wayne says:

    In fairness to the individual concerned, who may well be far more concerned about building a career rather than the referendum, editing out that single line was probably sensible, especially given the intense interest on the No Borders campaign. They might have quite rightly decided that keeping it on just wasn’t worth the hassle.

    It does however provide more evidence about the rather opaque origins of this astroturf campaign. The next issue is, who did they submit their bid to? It does seem to be increasingly the case that essentially this just boils down to a PR company seeing an opportunity to make money out of the referendum by attempting to fill a glaring gap in the NO campaign. Shows the level of desperation out there. They knew they wouldn’t get away with it, they just decided it was worth the risk.

  19. Clootie says:

    Forget about the papers. Tell people, post it elsewhere, twitter it, Facebook it. Just get it out there!

  20. Dr Ew says:

    @ gerry parker
    “O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
    – actually from Ivanhoe. By Walter Scott. Not Shakespeare.

    P.S. This is not an anti-English thang, just my pedantry.

  21. Dr Ew says:

    Er… actually not from Ivanhoe, now I thought to check it. Actually from Marmion an epic poem by Oor Walter.

    See? I’m even pedantic about my own pedantry!

    Still not Wullie Shakespeare though.

  22. Dr Ew says:

    I’m going for a lie down now.

  23. CalumCarr says:

    Looks as though the new profile has disappeared too. Just as well I’ve saved it and the old one.

    I can understand why she would do so. She’s young, just starting her working life. Why would she want her profile and this particular work being ‘open season’?

    The real story is that Acanchi started so early.

  24. boglestone says:

    @gerry parker

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” – W Shakespeare.”

    *splutter* eh, no it wisnae.

    T’was Sir Walter Scott in his (long & boring) poem Marmion. :)

  25. gerry parker says:

    @Dr Ew,
    Many thanks for that.
    :)

  26. orri says:

    Perhaps she signed a non-disclosure agreement and is barred from admitting what she worked on, although not from saying where she worked.

  27. cearc says:

    So just how many people do Acanchi employ?

    From that job description it looks like a one woman band with an intern in the office.

  28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “IF Better Together have had access to this poll, people are breaking electoral law with impunity. I’d like them to be held to account.”

    My FoI request asked who the data had been shared with.

  29. Chris Silver says:

    At least this highlights the learning process, now what they don’t like, they don’t publish.
    The accusations they face are the old chant from the terracing “you’re not very good” may come into play.

  30. cearc says:

    The other obvious thing about the people in the adverts is that they haven’t responded.

    If any of us did a heartfelt piece to camera about our strong beliefs and allowed our images quotes to be used in a campaign, wouldn’t we be annoyed if it was suggested that we were not real people.

    Yet none of these ‘unpolished’ people nor their astroturf organisers have stepped forward, despite the fact that they could have wall-to-wall BBC/MSM coverage of their opinions.

  31. cearc says:

    corr. images and quotes.

    Sorry Stu, I know. preview box etc.

  32. Alfresco Dent says:

    What age might Lord Lucan be now?

  33. bookie from hell says:

    George Osborne ruling out Currency Union stone dead Scottish Affairs committee

  34. Jamie Arriere says:

    I wonder if there’s been any Westminster Government payments to Acanchi for ‘rebranding’ since the 2011 SNP landslide.

  35. Mosstrooper says:

    Cheery wee note. Just back from chatting to my lawyer (family business, nothing scary.) I happened to mention that I was off to deliver YES newspapers and then the real chatting started. The man is an avid yes supporter. Incensed at the negativity of the NO’s. Follows Indy Business site so I gave him Wings to peruse.

    Left his office on a high. We can do this.

  36. HandandShrimp says:

    George Osborne is quite simply a chancer I would not believe on any matter much less currency. However, what else can he do now. If he said Aye maybes now Better Together may as well shut up shop.

  37. HandandShrimp says:

    On VNB

    As I said on another thread. I wonder when their PR photographer from Cambridge took all the photos.

    Has this very quiet wee Tory PR exercise been preparing in the background as a fall back should Better Together prove as much use as a chocolate teapot?

  38. ronnie anderson says:

    @gerry parker, an the nae daffodils in ma garden ur no

    by William Wordsworth.

  39. Adrian B says:

    @ Hand and Shrimp

    Remember that George Osborne was taking acting lessons. I think the reason was to make the stories he tells more believable due to his body language. Alastair Darling was poor at concealing his lies as we all know.

  40. YESGUY says:

    Can someone put a rough amount that rUK would lose when Scotland is independent .

    I see the currency union as the only way to soften the damage of losing Scotland , for the rUK. We can always have our own currency so its no big deal but the damage to the rUK’s economy will be substantial. It would be interesting to see how much it would cost them.

    Oh and can you make it simple enough for us to read and pass on to others. The farce of the unionist cause is always aimed at what will happen to Scotland . I’d be interested to know how much it would effect England.

    If this is already done sorry but i’ve missed that one.

    I am hoping it will put “the boot on the other foot” and we can see how desperate they are to keep us. And it would hollow out the usual “yer too wee ” dross thrown at us.

  41. galamcennalath says:

    Wonder if the elusive tuba player would give an interview to Wings?

  42. Lesley-Anne says:

    Sorry I’m O’T but I need some help here, I think. ;)

    I’ve just seen that Herts Conservatives are now following me on Twitter. Jeez don’t these folks READ any of my *ahem* tweets before following me. I mean for the last 24 hours I’ve done next to nothing else but go on about the Cabinet Office and the need to publish the poll! :)

    Oh I’ve just had a thought maybe they’re supporting us in our calls to have the secret poll published, think I’ll just follow them back. In the interests of political neutrality you understand. :P

  43. ronnie anderson says:

    any links to the scottish affairs committee its not on

    democracy live or parliament TV UK

  44. Gillie says:

    VNB – giving astro-turfing a bad name.

  45. Richard Lucas says:

    Also from the football terraces: Nob Orders ‘Can we play you every week?’

  46. Glass Girl says:

    @Jim Watson
    If you had undertaken work you thought might make you appear to be a charlatan or somehow paint you in a bad light then surely you wouldn’t put it on your linkedin profile in the first place. I think its more likely to have been a PR person from no borders who have told this person to alter/hide their CV. An individual hired to do a job isn’t going to be searching the internet daily looking for disapproval of their past work but a person paid to track down and supress bad PR is.

  47. K1 says:

    The real story is that it’s a hired gun in the UK establishment’s arsenal against Independence. And that it’s funded therefore by tax payers, in effect we are paying to be duped by our own (supposedly) government. As people have pointed out already, there has been no serious investigative journalism except on here at Wings. This is made all the more serious in propaganda terms, by the airtime that this astoryturfing mob has received on the BBC’s public relations presentation of this as a genuine grassroots movement from the No camp. Again funded by the licence fee, again paying to be duped.

    This is a full blown propaganda campaign. It’s being exposed on here and I agree it needs further exposure…Sunday Herald?

    You need to be running our new SBC Stu…of that I’m sure of!

  48. Richard Lucas says:

    More seriously, when is a mainstream newspaper going to use all this evidence to expose the Vote No Borders murky background?

  49. HandandShrimp says:

    Adrian

    George has a permanent sleekit look so I can’t see how anyone could possibly tell if he was fibbing or even being honest.

  50. bookie from hell says:

    Sir Nicholas Macpherson says the Treasury has acquired a great deal of expertise in relation to currency unions.

    It studied the subject in detail when it was assessing whether the UK should join the euro. Much of its analysis turned out to be justified as the Eurozone crisis unfolded.

    bfh–BUT this was 2004 and he failed to see 2008/9 financial crisis

  51. call me dave says:

    Ha ha! Osborne… Currency union.

    England & Wales would have to trust the Scot’s not to run up bad debt or let the economy get out of control in a fiscal union and to be responsible. The irony!

    £1.4 trillion and rising. It’s Scotland taking the risk I think. :-)

  52. HandandShrimp says:

    I think we can take it for granted that VNB read Wings.

    Read and weep, for this is a real grass roots campaign. :)

  53. galamcennalath says:

    “Richard Lucas says:
    More seriously, when is a mainstream newspaper going to use all this evidence to expose the Vote No Borders murky background?”

    MSM are in business to make money. Which comes highest on their agenda? Profit or support for the Union? It’s one hell of a story to run! The first to run the exposé will sell a lot of newspapers! Perhaps the Sunday Herald would like to make a killing (pun intended).

  54. HandandShrimp says:

    Call me Dave

    Spot on. I have mixed feelings about a currency union. If there was one the odds are that we would drop out not because we were profligate and were asked to leave but because the BofE needed to increase interest rates to cool an overheated housing market in the SE of England.

  55. Hammett96 says:

    I’ve never noticed before, but Osborne is awffy mumbly. Appears as though this committee is adopting the same stance as MSM, there are opportunities to pick apart a fair few of his points but no-one taking them

  56. bookie from hell says:

    Sir Nicholas Macpherson is as neutral as a Golf GTI in first gear

  57. Cath says:

    “If I was working in PR, I’d want to hide any involvement in the Vote No Borders campaign. Career suicide.”

    She’s probably quite young and naive as well, and has maybe only just realised (or been told) that there are some jobs you shouldn’t be too open about on a CV. Especially if you’re working for a “country branding consultancy” with links to government and the shadier elements of a countries establishment. Though you’d think, given that, the company might have been a bit more explicit about that.

    I’d bet anything she’s also bigged up her own part in it.

  58. manandboy says:

    ORGE Osborne & Sir Nicholas McPherson

    If I used the ‘ummm’ sound as often as both these gentlemen have, I would be making it up as I go along.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/21006886

  59. manandboy says:

    Sorry, George

  60. Macart says:

    Right, they’re just being plain evasive now.

    This may have gone beyond facepalm for VNB to biblical face-ache.

  61. call me dave says:

    At last “Does not Aberdeen (oil) bail out the UK” Now that’s a good point

    Which was not well answered by Sir Nicholas.

    Treading on eggshells, Osborne’s sitting there praying that the words are on script. Sir N. went against protocol by publishing the advice, which is normally held in confidence

    Davidson quips. “He would say that wouldn’t he”.

    Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice D now involved. :-)

  62. Murray McCallum says:

    I have an image of the VNB Better Together Tories office undertaking a shredding and deleting exercise. A clean-up operation.

  63. fairiefromtheearth says:

    say we could just not live in a negative way. Make way for the positive day ;) rasta man

  64. bookie from hell says:

    Sir Nicholas Macpherson is as neutral as a Golf GTI in first gear

    argentina—Scotland default

    interest rates up 8%

  65. Oneironaut says:

    @K1
    “You need to be running our new SBC Stu…of that I’m sure of!”

    Definitely! :D
    Hope to some day be tuning in to “Wings TV” in an independent Scotland!

    @call me dave
    @Handandshrimp
    I don’t really like the idea of a currency union all that much myself.
    Got a bad feeling it’s just giving Westminster a string they can pull up here whenever they want to.
    We already know that if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile and ask for more.

  66. manandboy says:

    Pamela Nash playing right into Tory hands.

  67. Lesley-Anne says:

    No matter who it was that published these profiles I’ll bet it was NOT this guy. :P

    http://tinyurl.com/oojkv39

  68. call me dave says:

    Oooh! What will happen to the Scots if Scotland renages on the share of debt.

    Mortgages.

    Isn’t Davidson sometimes magic asking that Q. Sir N. is in melt down… ha ha!

    Davidson strikes a second time… he’s loving it.
    Sir N. has not got an answer…bluff & bluster!

    Now George try to cover up by telling porkies…:-)

  69. manandboy says:

    Osborne & McPherson.
    These two men are running/ruining the finances of the UK. Scary.

    Pamela Nash, Lab. Airdrie & Shotts,
    once again enjoying chatting to some big hitters
    plays straight into their hands.

  70. manandboy says:

    Osborne says the UK is world’s best at honouring its debts.
    Shame that tradition came to a sudden halt with McCrone.

  71. bookie from hell says:

    Sir Nicholas Macpherson is off a leash,enjoying ripping Scotland to pieces,im sure REV will find a few things to reply too.

  72. call me dave says:

    @manandboy

    Aye but.. that’s their job, Nash , Roy and Davidson to supply the ammunition. But Davidson likes to play to the audience and he’s on the telly. It’s a circus.

  73. Greannach says:

    Pamela Nash deserves whatever she gets for failing to vote against the Bedroom Tax (freebie in Vienna the day before) and supporting Cameron-Clegg’s cap on benefits spending. 24% of children living in poverty in her constituency.

  74. manandboy says:

    Once more Osborne is saying that the pound belongs to England.
    England can therefore deny Scotland use of it.

    Raises fundamental question over the true nature of the Union from an English point of view.

  75. manandboy says:

    So clear.

    In the Union, Scotland was NEVER a partner.

    More like a member of the domestic staff.

  76. K1 says:

    Both Osbourne and Macpherson dodging the question of the effect on the rUK of us using the pound out with currency union. Couple of obfuscating, sleekit little weasels…

  77. call me dave says:

    Citizen George… Ah!

    Challenges for rUK after independence. Aye that’s a good Q.

    George waffles but no answer, he diverts to ‘another red squirrel’.

    Sir N. waffles too but George intervenes and look ‘another red squirrel’.

    George is certainly tying in the labour party to his answers. They are all going down together.

    No Scottish notes or printing…bold George!

  78. Alex. Walker says:

    Rev.Stu. – see the “i” newspaper today(page 13)?

    About Osborne`s Offshore Tax Haven where he hides his personal 15per cent of the family`s luxury wallpaper business?

  79. manandboy says:

    Pamela making sure George remembers her.

    SNP boycott has left Independence arguments undefended.

    Should not be repeated.

  80. manandboy says:

    Lindsay Roy, Lab. Glenrothes

    doing a good job for the IndyScots.

  81. Greannach says:

    Lindsay Roy needs to hang his head in shame over the benefits spending cap too. Trotted in alongside the Tories and Liberals. He represents the 7th worst constituency in Scotland for child poverty – 27%. It reaches 38&% the Buckhaven, Methil, Wemyss ward. A shameful thing to do.

  82. call me dave says:

    Davidson returns to wriggle room for the Chancer (chancellor)has he got any? Sir Nich says he’s right a nd George say’s “I’m with Nich” Order Order!

    It’s all too complicated.

    Are yeas all feart yet? Do you all understand how wee and poor and defenceless you all are!

    These two are running the country because they are experts…oh wait! No they are just in power!

    Put a cross in the box for YES and end it all.

  83. manandboy says:

    Sorry, Osborne & Mcpherson are looking so far down on Scotland.

    Final words are totally damning to Scotland.

    They are determined to keep Scotland subservient.

  84. Andy-B says:

    I’m with you Rev, there’s definitely something not above board about VNB.

    Talking about not being above board here the Tory/Lib/Dem coalition has handed a £30.000 pound taxpayer funded PR contract, to the company of a Better Together boss,in order to fight independence, surely that isn’t legal.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/con-dems-dish-out-30k-3536326

  85. K1 says:

    Scottish Affairs Committee…Scottish Undermining Scotland Committee more like…a mental circle jerk if ever there was on full display here…f***kin disgraceful!

  86. daddydode says:

    This has happend numerous times on bt profiles the get deleted im sure a max nix had removed his profile as it had links to other bt regulars. These regulars are employees or ex emoloyees of a certain universty and using dodgy ids

  87. postman pete says:

    Why all the fuss? it says on the No Borders website:
    “While fundraising only started four months ago, Vote No Borders has been in development for two years. ” [quote from http://www.votenoborders.co.uk/questions ]
    Still, you have to ask, ‘did she jump or …?

  88. HandandShrimp says:

    ManandBoy

    I think Osborne’s problem is that he doesn’t understand the Scottish psyche at all and it is doubtful if McPherson, yet another old Etonian, steps outside of Whitehall, even for air.

  89. Arel says:

    What a totally useless pair that Pamela Nash and Lindsay Roy are. My goldfish could have asked more searching questions. Osbourne could have been getting measured for his new Saville Row suit and downing a few Vintage Bollingers as he answered those powder puff questions from that pair. Why oh why do these inadequate people finish up in such responsible roles when they are clearly out of their depth.

  90. call me dave says:

    @manandboy

    Not having taken up the seat on the Scottish Affairs Committee (I know the reasons)did leave the committee to flog a dead horse. Personally I’m in agreement with you that it should not have been allowed to happen.

    Anyhoo! It’s always nice to know that we Scots are appreciated and being looked after by our big cousin, but he’s got all our pocket money and we’ve been rooked!

  91. bookie from hell says:

    Rory Stewart to be Chair of the Defence Select Committee.

    so when were all shaking hands at the border,eyes to the left Scotland side, we will see a trident submarine sea past

  92. Truth says:

    It appears this person has also deleted their twitter account.

    It can still be found on google cache though.

    Strange it’s been deleted, as it only contained 6 tweets and these concerned her volunteer work, nothing to do with Acanchi.

  93. Alan of Neilston says:

    Just watched The Scottish Select Committe interrogate George Orborne and Sir Nicholas Mac Pherson usual Unionists hearing from George how it will be a disaster for Scotland to leave the U.K. and there will be no Currency Union. I observed Better Together adviser Prof. Jim Gallacher sitting at the back taking notes. Wait to see how this one hits the Scottish People from the M.S.M and better Together.

  94. Andy-B says:

    Breaking news, according to the BBC, Alistair Darling WILL continue to lead the Better Together campaign.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-27409330

  95. Cath says:

    SNP boycott has left Independence arguments undefended.

    So what? We all know fine well what headlines and copy ALL the media will run with, all day tomorrow, the BBC included. It wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference if there was a token SNP bod there trying to talk some sense or dispel the propaganda. At best you’d get a throw away isn’t he daft type, “But an SNP MP tried to say” line at the very end.

    Let them have the committee the way they want it – totally unionist with no attempt at impartiality at all. If people in Scotland are daft enough to vote for that to be perpetuated in September, we deserve it.

  96. HandandShrimp says:

    Alan

    Give the thrashing around Better Together are doing with re-launch after re-launch I would imagine that the MSM will do a massive “We are all doomed” splash to try and bail out Alistair and Co. …assuming Alistair is still even in Better Together any more.

  97. Alex. Walker says:

    No wonder “BamCam” refuses to castigate Gary Barlow on tax evasion when his buddy (Osborne) and his father-in-law (Lord Astor) who owns thousands of acres on the Scottish island of Jura has these lands(money) registered in the Tax Haven Bahamas where we Scots pay to protect his wealth via our contributions to Governor-General, mansion, staff,defence,security and etc..

    Is there any procedure in law where “Hypocrisy” is pursued ?

    When one lone journalist can find (and name) 15,611 British company directors who use Tax Havens to evade tax, one has to ask – Where is the Public Accounts Committee and their chair who wants to remove Barlow`s O.B.E, but refuses to sanction Lord Astor.?

    Most of the Tax Havens are owned,protected,crown and overseas territories of G.B. and Auld Liz..

  98. Andy-B says:

    Better Together holding talks with advertising agencies, in a last-ditch attempt to bolster flagging support.

    http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1294347/better-together-holds-last-ditch-ad-agency-talks-ahead-scottish-referendum/

  99. HandandShrimp says:

    andy-B

    The fact that he has to come out and make that statement is telling in itself. They are at six and sevens. Now if we can prise that poll from sticky paws we might even knock them to sevens and eights :)

  100. Cath says:

    With any luck, that idiot committee will be seen by those in the markets, who’ll witness the level of talent, and inability to ask searching questions of those running the UKs economy. If the polls shift, they may then act accordingly.

  101. call me dave says:

    @Arel

    Love that wee picture you drew there! :-)

    It was a stroll in the park by and large, hoops jumped through, minutes taken, a jolly fine show.

    SNP absent…anyone for a cucumber sandwich?

    Off to get the grand children from school, they don’t have a clue about how these folks in the HoC are trying to ruin their lives. Happy days!

  102. haud on the noo says:

    Breaking news, according to the BBC, Alistair Darling’s eyebrows have agreed to meet. Time to settle down..

  103. cynicalHighlander says:

    Osborne “Panama has had the most IMF bailouts” well I can’t find any info on any bailout by the IMF to Panama. Osborne telling porkies again.

  104. cynicalHighlander says:

    Osborne “Panama has had the most IMF bailouts” well I can’t find any info on any bailout by the IMF to Panama. Osborne telling porkies again.

  105. Cath says:

    The markets and those looking in could also compare and contrast with the currency debate in the Scottish parliament’s finance committee a few weeks back. That was of a far higher level, more rigorous, and not just for propaganda purposes.

  106. Jill P says:

    More pedantry
    “O what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive”
    When this was written the spelling rule for practice/practise would very much be used. So it would be “…first we practise to…” -ise for verb -ice for noun.

  107. Andy-B says:

    @Handshrimp,I suppose the BT camp must try and show unity in the face of adversity, but there must be one hell of a lot of infighting in the BT camp, as to who should lead them to defeat.

  108. bigGpolmont says:

    “SNP boycott has left Independence arguments undefended.”
    I think that Stewart Hosie on gms was very good this morning
    When asked if it would not have been better having our representative on the committee he explained that it was Davidsons tactics that made it impossible.
    Later he corrected Yet another BBC mis quote on Deutche bank by saying ” but thats not what they said WAS IT ” and went on to quote the comments correctly. Poor lassie interviewing didn’t have a clue what Deutche bank had said. She had obviously just been given the script and she had no comeback! well done Stuart

  109. Oneironaut says:

    @Cath
    “Let them have the committee the way they want it – totally unionist with no attempt at impartiality at all. If people in Scotland are daft enough to vote for that to be perpetuated in September, we deserve it.”

    The danger there is that the ones too stupid to question the obvious propaganda and do their own research are going to drag the rest of us down to UK Hell with them.

    It’s why I have trouble forgiving the ones who refuse to even listen to any hint of an alternative to their own misguided views. Maybe the people who can forgive them are better or stronger than I am…

  110. Robert Louis says:

    Is it true, that those running ‘better together’, are now not merely ‘patriotic Scots but..’, but are in fact ‘STAUNCH patriotic Scots but..’

    LOL (both senses)

  111. Robert Whyte says:

    Maybe im being paranoid but I think the no side is using zadego to mount a facebook campaign. All the sites are named differently but controlled by better together.

  112. Andy-B says:

    George Osborne, “No ifs or buts Scotland’s not using the pound”. No wonder Better together are flagging, their still flogging the same old dead horse.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/10830929/George-Osborne-warns-Scots-no-ifs-and-no-buts-on-the-pound.html

  113. Cath says:

    “The danger there is that the ones too stupid to question the obvious propaganda and do their own research are going to drag the rest of us down to UK Hell with them.”

    Sadly true of any democracy. You just have to hope there are enough people out there paying attention to make up for them, or to make them sit up and listen.

    One heartening thing on the doorsteps is where, a couple of years ago, you might get a definite no or a “not interested”, you now get more “I’m no but…” and it’s often the fact so many friends or family members they respect or know more about politics are avidly yes. They’re still no, still think we cannae dae it etc, but they’re starting to question, well if so and so thinks we can…?

    That’s why the polling being heavily NO is so important to the UK government and NO camp. There would be a tipping point where those who’re mostly just following the crowd switch, and they don’t want that happening.

  114. Andy-B says:

    TNS Poll shows that even Scots voting no to independence find that the Better Together campaign, is way way to negative. Alistair Darling is bring in many more people to fight independence in the run up to the vote.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/05/14/uk-scotland-independence-poll-idUKKBN0DT23L20140514

  115. TJenny says:

    Cath – ‘There would be a tipping point where those who’re mostly just following the crowd switch, and they don’t want that happening.’

    That’ll be the point of no return – wee heads up to Thepnr, there. :-)

  116. Sinky says:

    Why should we be surprised?

    Labour MPs have been amending their Wikipedia entries for years now.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/who-are-the-commons-moles-changing-wikipedia-entries-7545991.html

    Check out Alistair Darling’s and keen observers will notice many omissions including his close connections with Fred Goodwin.

    And this week’s Private Eye has story on the extensive shredding of records and emails at the Financial Services Authority covering the period up to and including Banking crash.

  117. fairiefromtheearth says:

    i want a referendum every month after sep18, NATO war criminals join yes no, EU debt dictatorship yes no, currency union or our own currencry, im looking foreward to this new democratic sociaty that WE are going to build ;) and plenty more questions to be answered by you and me.

  118. Oneironaut says:

    @TJenny
    “Cath – ‘There would be a tipping point where those who’re mostly just following the crowd switch, and they don’t want that happening.’

    That’ll be the point of no return – wee heads up to Thepnr, there. :-)”

    Can’t wait for the Thepnr then! hehe :D

    @Cath
    I know the feeling. There’s one in my family (no blood relation though. My family is kind of complicated!) who is a hardcore No voter and refuses to listen to any argument that goes against that view, despite the fact that everyone else in the family is voting Yes.

    Only hope there is that he might be too lazy to get up and go to vote on the day!
    (thinking about “accidentally” nailing his bedroom door shut the night before!) ;)

  119. Marcia says:

    I remember back in 2012 BT brought in the USA campaign organisation Blue State Digital.

    http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/10/15/anti-scottish-independence-campaign-better-together-brings-barak-obamas-presidential

    So what when wrong? Is it because Obama won re-election because his organisation had boots on the ground? Just like Yes Scotland.

  120. Marcia says:

    when = went

  121. David says:

    I don’t blame the then-student (now graduated from Yooni) for working for Acanchi, they were just a youth getting experience in the job market.

    Blame lies with the secretive and powerful enemies of Scotland in Westminster, and with their paymasters, working on this “grassroots scheme” in the shadows for the past two years.

    However, I was surprised to see 2 errors in the Internship profile, tut tut! You just can’t get the henchmen these days, can you. “Developed of a brand concept” and “Prepared of research”. Only the second has been corrected so far.

    Due to these language errors, I wondered at first about the person’s educational status. If my country is being slandered, I want it done by someone who can write in joined-up letters. :)

    But no, it is just another Englander who has not been told the truth about the UK, and who is too young to feel any need to search for themself. However as a graduate in Classics, they ought to see the writing is on the wall for the British empire.

    (Note to self: better check my own CV after criticizing someone else’s!)

  122. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Why all the fuss? it says on the No Borders website:”

    It does NOW, yes.

  123. Oneironaut says:

    @Sinky

    Interesting link there. Thanks for that :)

    Didn’t think they’d actually go that far to try to pretend all their biggest mistakes never happened. Keeping in mind that they probably didn’t even catch all the ones who are at it. Concealing or spoofing an IP address is disturbingly easy if you know how…

    On the “Interesting edits: some Wikipedia highlights” section at the bottom of that article, I love the last two! hehe ;)

  124. Desimond says:

    @Ian brotherhood

    Brass Instruments, matches their neck.

  125. CameronB Brodie says:

    As we are talking about Acanchi.

    “A country brand brings long term benefits when it has the support of competent leaders, sound policies and value producing development projects”

    Fiona Gilmore – Acanchi

    @Fiona Gilmore
    Is Scotland not a country? What is the antithesis of your stated belief? Do you feel you have managed your beliefs, so as not to be morally ignorant of your actions. Do you feel a person’s moral ignorance exculpates guilt?

  126. Neil MacKenzie says:

    Website updated

    http://www.votenoborders.co.uk/questions

    What is Acanchi’s involvement in Vote No Borders?

    Fiona Gilmore founded Acanchi in 2003 and since then has worked with many countries, providing research, communications advice and support. While fundraising only started four months ago, Vote No Borders has been in development for two years. It became evident that there was an opportunity to provide a platform for people to express their views and aspirations for the future of Scotland as part of the Union. Acanchi is assisting the Vote No Borders Campaign with research, support and production. Acanchi is not a PR company – no PR agencies are involved.

  127. crisiscult@yahoo.com says:

    Seemed appropriate here, due to the likely increased number of enemies this website must be accumulating, to ask if anyone using a mac has had problems accessing this site. I’ve been tinkering with wireless settings and still haven’t managed to get my mac to work on this site for about the last 24 hours. No problem with windows computer.

  128. john king says:

    Alfresco Dent says
    “What age might Lord Lucan be now?”

    Lucan for me?

  129. john king says:

    Oneironaught says
    “You really don’t want to know…
    Not without large quantities of brain bleach and knowing you can never look at a trombone the same way again!”

    Wow thats harsh man
    heres my response :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ums5oeMEvwg

  130. john king says:

    ps
    bless you my son!

  131. Balaaargh says:

    It became evident that there was an opportunity to provide a platform for people to express their views and aspirations for the future of Scotland as part of the Union

    Does that mean the official campaign group couldn’t provide the platform for its aspiring supporters?

  132. Ken500 says:

    It has the fingerprints of tax evading Brown/Blair (Labour Party) + Tory Unionists all over it. Is that where the tax evaded funds are going. Links to Israel, Russia etc. Meddling all over the strategist areas. Mi5 etc. Scottish Independence will mean more pressure on tax evasion in the rest of the UK, because of loss of revenues going South.

    Hope the Sunday Herald takes up the story. The trouble is, if the Press in the UK tell the truth, they can end up threatened, with secret D Notes or falsely accused or sidelined.

    Dark forces right enough. Chilcot’s verdict is still be help back by sinister forces and resistance? to releasing the truth in the Report. Democracy UK. What Democracy?

  133. Ken500 says:

    @ john king 14 May, 2014 at 6.25pm

    You’re a wee monkey : – )

  134. Chic McGregor says:

    How did they imagine that Gideon’s life experience, coming from a wallpaper manufacturing family and folding towels in Selfridges, equipped him to be chancellor?

    I suppose there might be some logic in it, in that he could use his folding skills on all that money from North Sea oil.

    Although by now I suspect his wife must be sick of peeling off all the towels he keeps pasting up on her walls.

  135. Paula Rose says:

    Nice pic of the lovely Claire Borley – the VNB photographer at work on the latest post on their fb page.

    https://www.facebook.com/votenoborders/photos/a.661633457243449.1073741828.649432375130224/666296373443824/?type=1&theater

  136. Paula Rose says:

    Oh and another interesting site heavily promoted by VNB – though I’m probably behind the curve on this one.

  137. Paula Rose says:

    oops left out the link –

    http://collaborativescotland.org/

  138. Truth says:

    I have found some evidence of a Jean T with connections to brass bands in Barrhead, Ayrshire and Inverclyde.

    I haven’t found photos unfortunately to make the link (though this person’s occupation is described as “retired”) so that is why the above details are scant.

    Either way these bands are all wholesome and not associated with any orange order stuff.

  139. Ken500 says:

    Earning some spare cash on a zero contract for a PR company. Next thing they will be registered as a Charity. This is so corrupt in so many ways. It is complete fraud totally breaking political rules/Laws.

    Fradge does the same uses public monies to fund a Political Party because it’s EU he gets away with for lack of political win to investigate. Kettle Black. Now Fradge is operating in the UK political arena, this should be investigated tlhroughly. One Law for the crooked Politicans another one Law for the Electorate. The Unionists Politicans break every Law that they make. Fradge is obviously hiring people to pose as supporters from PR Companies, as are all the Unionists Parties. The posed cosy get togethers? They can’t get any genuine supporters to pose for them. Everyone holds them in complete contempt.

    It has to be YES.

  140. Kevin Lynch says:

    Just a thought. Maybe the weird thing is this person did their internship and wants to move on now with no particular affiliation to the Yes or No side of the debate in any professional capacity. Being involved in controversial political campaigns can have negative as well as positive effects on a persons career. Perhaps they want to avoid the bullshit following them through life?

    My gut instinct says this one should be left well alone unless there is actual proof something is not right here. People add and remove stuff from their CV all the time.

  141. Ken500 says:

    Australia looks fabulous. Everyone will be wanting to emigrate if there’s a NO. Except they have closed their borders. Not, ‘No Borders’. There will be refugee boats landing. ‘Please take us’
    Re- enactment. Bit far right enough.

  142. Roll_On_2014 says:

    gerry parker at 12:59 pm

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”

    W Shakespeare.

    Misquote

    Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

  143. Ken500 says:

    Naw. They be line up for Political internship on minimum salary, in case they spill the beans. A higher salary and bonuses with a little sleekit pressure – ‘secret blackmail’. ‘Yes Minister’. They will land on their feet.

  144. Ken500 says:

    @ Misquote

    Gerry’s already been telt – twice.

  145. Neil MacKenzie says:

    I see a lot of the poster people are tuning into flowers http://www.theimagefile.com/web/claireborley

  146. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    @Neil Mackenzie

    that must be the “Flowers of the Union” effect?

    Do you think that the reason that the “flowers” all come from Glasgow is because Clare Borley only had a day return flight from Cambridge?

    No point in hanging around in Scotland too long to meet real people – a common BT theme.

    Grassroots my arse!

  147. Paula Rose says:

    @ Dr JM Mackintosh – these grass-roots campaigns are very expensive, offices in Charlotte Square, adverts on lots of pages in the press and so on, so can we really expect that they could afford to shoot pics and videos all over Scotland? Do the cybernats do that? ;-)

  148. FraserP says:

    @Kevin Lynch
    “My gut instinct says this one should be left well alone unless there is actual proof something is not right here. People add and remove stuff from their CV all the time.”

    Timing’s a wee bit slick though, don’t you think? Whether it’s because they noticed their CV had been quoted or that they realised what an utter dog the final campaign has turned out to be, either way they have realised that listing the experience would be akin to walking into a job interview for a ship’s mate wearing a massive dead albatross medallion.



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