You wait for a wanker for ages…then two come along at once. Maybe a double helping of everyone’s favourite roaster roasting in one weekend is overkill for a brand. But since we’re not the brand experts, we thought we’d give it a bash.
There has rightly been a lot of focus on Malcolm Offord, the millionaire Tory donor behind “Vote No Borders”, a rather well-funded
propaganda grassroots campaign about all the “ordinary Scots” who’re desperate to preserve the Union.
The other director of the Vote No Borders campaign is Fiona Gilmore, founder of Acanchi. While many readers will doubtless be familiar with the company’s “tailored positioning strategy solutions”, I’d better explain what she does, just in case. Her firm is a powerhouse in “value producing development projects” and a veritable one-stop-shop for all your “country brand capital development” needs.
The Chi in acanchi , is the creative, the ability to see things in new and potentially valuable ways.
If you’re still none the fucking wiser, their website opens with the following statement:
Acanchi was established in 2003 as an independent and privately owned London based consultancy. This independence ensures its neutrality and objectivity.
So running a neutral, objective consultancy which values the independence that only being privately owned and London based can bring is a perfect portfolio for someone whose pet project has officially registered to oppose independence for Scotland, and spend an alleged £500,000 in the process. The campaigning limit is £150,000, so Vote No Borders will need to spend the bulk of their cash before the official campaigning period (and its pesky rules) take effect in 4 weeks.
With a massive wad of Tory bills in her back pocket, Gilmore looks set to become Scotland’s Siobhan Sharpe of scaremongering cinematic shenanigans and proclamations about what her desire to “stimulate the positive energy” or “capture the essential truths” of Scotland can’t be far behind.
Her previous projects have certainly demonstrated that it’s possible for people to spend lots of money on not very much, Acanchi came up with the phrase “C’est un plaisir” (it’s a pleasure) as part of a campaign to rebrand Mauritius. Forced to defend the fact that this marketing and linguistic masterpiece had set back Mauritian taxpayers about £50,000 a letter, Gilmore insisted this was only the tip of her branding iceberg. If anyone wants us to write “it’s a pleasure” on a bit of paper for £650,000 it would be..a pleasure.
Back at Vote No Borders HQ, Malcom Offord was brimming with pleasantries in his own video, as he hailed the positive message of the people’s campaign (of not all millionaires like him.) Who better to deliver that positive message than a “voice of the week”? This week’s star turn may have never met a Yes voter but it’s clear she knows why, what with the “killings, taking over of land” and most shockingly “THE SPREADING OF WEALTH” which awaits us, in the event of a Yes Vote. It could be like partition in India, we’re told. Positive case for the Union: complete.
Speaking of partition and bearing in mind Malcolm Offord’s proclamation that “we need to take down borders in this world”, one particular client on the Fiona Gilmore/Acanchi list stands out. Describing the remit for her project, the Israeli Foreign Minister explained,
Even those who recognize that Israel is in the right are not attracted to it, because they see it as a supplier of bad news. The conclusion is that it is more important for Israel to be attractive than to be right.
There was much discussion of the need to “unlock the magic” from Gilmore and her cronies, as they oversaw the rebranding of the apartheid state as a “land of achievements.” Behind the scenes, the magic was already being (un)locked and loaded as the IDF prepared to carry out Operation Cast Lead/the Gaza Massacre, in which 1500 Palestinians were killed without anyone really seeming to care, quite an achievement. Gilmore’s sudden interest in a borderless world and freedom of movement comes a tad too late for those living behind Israel’s illegally constructed border wall and for the now 5 million refugees created by the ongoing occupation. Still, why bother being right when you can just pay people to make you look good?
In a nutshell, that‘s Gilmore role; to make dodgy, failed and failing states look good. Vote No Borders will be hoping she can provide the “chi” to Malcolm Offord’s “tin bastard” but the would-be-saviours of Brand Broken Britain have a tough job on their hands. This referendum isn’t a superficial choice because Britain’s problems are much more than skin deep.
You can’t present a xenophobic, insular, UKIP-if-you-want-to state as an experiment in hand holding borderlessness, especially when we’re the ones demanding to live in a country which is welcoming to everyone who would call Scotland home.
You can’t pass off a “voice of the week” telling tales of murder and wealth redistribution in the hope we all panic and vote No, especially when the voices of the weak are saying independence is an opportunity to tackle inequality and injustice.
It doesn’t matter how much money you chuck at it or whether you call an earth repositioning management solution a spade, Vote No Borders is just digging an even bigger hole for the rest of us to bury Britain in.
If Scotland is to be for the millions and not the millionaires, if we’re to ensure that the Tory Tycoon and the Turd Polisher can’t spend and spin us out of our future, if, for once, we say that we won’t let that the wankers win – we need to get out there and demand tailored repositioning strategy solutions like never before. The main solution being that we get the fuck out of the UK, as fast as we possibly can.
More dodgy donors:
WEEKLY WANKER #004: IAN TAYLOR
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