Project Fear gets chibbed by chi

There won’t be much in the way of updates over the weekend. I’ve got to do exciting things like cleaning the toilet and de-minging the oven. All those joyous wee jobs that you keep putting off in the vain hope that perhaps a magic pixie will come in the middle of the night and do them for you. But the magic pixies are all fully occupied creating a grassroots movement out of plastic offcuts for Better Together, courtesy of a Tory donating millionaire and a London PR company that specialises in rebranding through the medium of New Age woo, as discovered by Douglas Daniel, writing on Wings Over Scotland.

Millionaire Tory donor and city financier Malcolm Offord got together with London based branding and marketing company Acanchi and the right wing think tank the Centre for Social Justice and spontaneously started a mass movement. The clever little things. And they even managed to attract more attention from the UK media in just one day than pretty much the entirety of the vast and truly grassroots movement forming the diverse yes campaign has grown over the past two years – a grassroots movement that now dwarfs the official yes campaign in size.

Offord is an advisor to the Centre for Social Justice which claims to seek “effective solutions to the poverty that blights parts of Britain”. It’s a right wing outfit set up by Iain Duncan Smith in 2004, in the wake of his Epiphany in Easterhoose when he realised a more effective solution to the problem of getting re-elected was to sell benefits cuts to Tory voters by dressing them up in a glossy package of hangwringing.

The Centre for Social Justice was described by Tim Montgomery of the Tory website Conservative Home as a part of the Conservative movement. Offord was formerly the director of the organisation’s North Britain branch, Social Justice Scotland. The Scottish branch seems to be defunct, or at least its website is no longer online. Not much grassroots movement there then.

Acanchi wants to rebalance Project Fear’s chi to reposition it in the Scottish voting market, or somesuch. There’s very little difference between PR woo and New Age woo – which most often consists of shallow misunderstandings of ancient, complex and deep philosophies. Chi is the energy that runs through the universe in Taoist belief.

It’s sort of the Chinese version of the Mediaeval European belief in the four humours that were supposed to regulate the health and well being of the body. If they got out of balance you got sick. Project Fear has obviously got far too much bile and melancholy. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much all they’ve got. Good luck with rebalancing that then.

Acanchi was founded by Fiona Gilmour, who describes herself as a “thought leader” and a “leading expert on country positioning strategy”. People pay a lot of money for fancy sounding words with ambiguous meanings. That’s what kept ancient Greek readers of the entrails of oxen in business. Same principle as chi, but you get sausages at the end of it. Better Together should have tried that instead. We might not get a positive case for the Union but a piece and square slice is always welcome. They missed a trick there.

The company was responsible for a new slogan for the Tourism Board of the island of Mauritius. For a reported £625,000 they came up with “Mauritius, c’est un plaisir” a slogan which was immediately subject to widespread ridicule for its blandness and for costing almost £50,000 per letter.

Acanchi accepted a contract from the Israeli government in 2008, in an effort to boost the image of Israel in the UK. According to the pro-Palestinian website, Fiona Gilmour, claimed Acanchi aimed to “unlock the magic that can be used to create a compelling brand positioning”. Adding, “We believe that success for a country, city or region brand can be achieved by discovering, defining and channelling this chi into a brand positioning that reflects the core truths of a place.”

This isn’t really going to help much when one of the core truths about Scotland is that we famously have more pandas than Tory MPs. If we had a quid for every time someone’s said that joke there would be no need for a sovereign oil fund. You’d have thought that a company heavily influenced by Chinese philosophy that’s discovering defining and channelling Scottish chi would have known that already.

Another core truth is that making use of ancient Chinese religious philosophies which aimed to bring balance and health to the universe in aid of a bunch of self-aggrandising careerists who worship money is some pretty bad karma. But I’m sure Acanchi have a chant and some scented candles for that.

Anyway, I don’t think we need to worry too much about a London PR company’s attempts to use magic against us. This is Scotland. We invented druids. And they can curse.

And in other news.

I’ve just had a wee look at April’s site statistics. Amazingly there were over 80,000 page views, and just shy of 20,000 unique readers. That’s incredible for a wee blog written by someone who represents no organisations, no political party, and well – just takes the piss. It’s obviously not just me who thinks the Westminster parlie is risible.

So hello to all the new readers, lovely to see you here. You come from all over the world, and a special hello to whoever it is who reads this blog in Mongolia. The dug gets into a yurt with a wifi connection. That’s a 21st century grassroots movement for you. The independence message is even reaching the vast grasslands of the Mongolian plains.

Must be our chi.

And because we’ve got some shit hot druids.


0 thoughts on “Project Fear gets chibbed by chi

  1. Many congratulations on the numbers, Paul. They really are very well deserved. You write beautifully and provide really engaging and well-informed content.

    Long may it continue, and long may your readership continue to rise.

  2. There are some jobs you just put off and off because they are so unattractive and disgusting , I’ll raise you one oven , the ironing and the inside windows .

    There are other jobs which are worthwhile and fulfilling like writing one of the best blogs around , fighting for a better deal for all those who live and work in Scotland.

    Thanks again!

  3. Cracker Paul. More of a druid dude masel’. 🙂

    I’ve been working at the pointy end of graphics/print for some twenty odd years. I’ve dealt with everything from self employed designer/illustrator/photographers to high end marketing firms selling blue sky concepts (whatever they are). But OMG the channeling of Chi to form a marketing and branding strategy… Hahahahahahahaha. 😀 That’s brilliant!

    Somehow I think they’ve missed the point of ‘grassroots’. Even the language they use ‘sleepwalking to separation’, ‘unpolished voter’. They’ve prejudged the people they hope to appeal to as thoughtless idiots. I mean FFS who treats the people they are hoping to win over like that?

    Oh wait now…

    We all take in information in different ways, we all need to be communicated with in different ways in order to process information. To assume people haven’t thought shit through en masse or are ‘sleepwalking’ because you have chosen to communicate poorly is simply bloody insulting.

    No Borders, the worst disguise a right wing backed front could possibly think of. A bit like putting a flat cap, trench coat and dodgy moustache on that same old elephant sitting in the middle of your front room. You still kinda know its an elephant.

  4. Ten thousand of your page views in April are probably all mine since I was directed your way by WOS.
    I keep coming back for more pearls of wisdom like: “entrails of an oxen, just like chi but with sausages at the end of it!”

  5. Paul, congratulations, you well deserve the following you get. On household chores, I invested in one of those steam cleaning thingies when they came out. Brilliant, great for ovens, cookers, windaes, ironing( jist hang up the clothes and let gravity and steam do the rest. Defrosting fridges and freezers, great! Cleaning alloy wheels – magic. They’d one on offer at one of those catalogue type shops fur a tenner last week, unfortunately I missed it.
    And a big welcome to our Mongolian friends.

    • May I suggest investing in a pyrolytic oven, self cleaning. All you need to do at the end it wipe it out. I agree with the steam cleaning thingy’s as well. used to do the freezer with mine. Thinking of investing in one of those window vacuums but waiting till they come down in price.

    • Got one of the tenner ones, they’re back on offer. OK if you want it only for floors, no attachments with it. No way to use at as a hand held, or for windaes.

  6. You may class it as “just taking the piss” – I see it as neatly filleting the Unionist side’s lies.

    Thank you!

  7. Epistle from Mongolia
    For years I have been waiting for my 15 minutes of fame to arrive. In fact, a mood of despair has overtaken me recently as I scan the horizon looking for even a nanosecond of the stuff. I do not hope for 15 minutes any more. Recently I have found solace in the prose of a Valencian dog of the name “Wee Ginger Dug”.
    Now my 15 minutes has arrived! At the end of today’s article on the misuse of Chi, I find fame. I grasp my fame with both hands and announce that I am your reader in Mongolia. My Chi is fully restored. My little part of the Universe overfloweth with energy.
    I made one discovery about Chi as a result of my new fame. Chi energy comes in beautifully made Chinese boxes with an inscription on the lid. The inscription says “only to be opened if you say Yes”. I wonder what it means.

    • I’ve always wanted to go to Mongolia. Ever since I was a wean. I’d love to catch a train from Glasgow Central to Hong Kong – via London Paris Berlin Warsaw Moscow Ulan Bator and Beijing.

      That’s not really chi though – it’s got more to do with a childlike love of trains.

      • I’m going to make you jealous then. On my journey home to vote in the referendum I’m planning to do that trip in reverse, only starting in Melbourne Australia. I’ll be filing updates on my blog. Maybe I can say hello to Alaster on my way. 🙂

      • We saw the Union of South Africa on Thursday afternoon, whizzing through two fields along from our house on her way to Inverness, puffing out lovely white clouds of steam and the wheels going clackety-clack. Magic. Having just cleaned daughter’s flat in Embra before she moved to another one – she was at work, in her defence – I wish I’d had a cleaning pixie. Or a Druid. Do squirrels eat sausages, I wonder? Seriously, WGD is the business. Whatever the result on 18th September, I hope everyone is going to keep talking on here and elsewhere.

    • Alaster, it was my Husband’s luck to be behind a person in the Post Office at the West End in Edinburgh a few years ago where a person wanted to send Black Bun to Ulan Bator but needed to now how much it was to cost in Batts (sp).
      Was this for you?

      • Hi Helena,
        Unfortunately not. Mongolians have something similar to Black Bun but not similar enough to make emergency shipments of real Black Bun unnecessary. That is not a hint!

      • I think he’s the guy I saw on telly a wee while ago – a group of Scotsmen holding a golf tournament in the middle of nowhere in the Gobi desert.

        He’s really dead famous our Mongolian correspondent. We all think we know him!

        • Hi Wee Ginger Dug,
          You are very sparing with your praise, Wee Ginger Dug. Here I am spending my valuable time reading WGD on my phone while I get the camels, two hump version, loaded to move to our spring station. Even though I am very busy I still find time to read your wisdom. “dead famous” is faint praise. It is almost enough to make me start reading Better Together blogs. Oh I forgot. They don’t have any. OK, I will forgive you this time! Who is this “Paul” person who is mentioned in a few comments?

  8. “Acan Chi” are promoting the “borders” meme. I hope they checked the Feng Shui angle because the bad chi can be returned to sender if it meets a border such as a big doorstep. maybe they should be dismantling Hadrians Wall?
    Read a brilliant quote from Lord Tebbit of all people:
    “If I were running a retail business, and if I suddenly discovered that my customers had been walking past my shop and going to a competitor, I would not stand in the street cursing them. I would go to the other shop and see what they were selling.”

  9. Yep, see they, V.N.B, even made onto B.B.C National News just after 9am this morning. Not bad for two lassies who can’t sing, and a rich tory donor with a scottish accent. No bias there then, but as I have posted on W.O.S, I have just found out that the head of the Electoral Commission for Scotland is one John McCormick, former Controller of B.B.C Scotland. So once again, no collusion in it’s decision to allow C.B.I Scotland to withdraw it’s application to register with them. No, not much, and my heid buttons up the back as well. I have always tried to live by the mantra that hate is too strong a word to use in any respect, but they are sorely trying my resolve, these so-called “proud scots”, with their behaviour.

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  12. Impressed with that Fiona Gilmore lassie. ” Brand Warriors China was published in Chinese in Jan 2003, selling more than 25000 copies in the first six weeks.”

    China-population-1.3 billion approx. Using my dodgy long division, ( maybe a wee bit better than Ally Darlings, but not by much,) and my lack of paper, I make that out to be 0.0001285 per day. Mind you, that’s using new money, ie. 9 zero’s as opposed to auld money which was 12 zero’s, but let’s not be pedantic here.

    Disnae seem to be as much Chi being channelled as implied, but I’m sure it wasn’t intentional.

  13. I suppose real grassroots campaigns like VoteNoBorders must get one of the servants to clean the Aga at the weekend, so they can devote themselves to the important affairs of democracy……..

    Have a good weekend Paul, you deserve it.

  14. When you are done with your oven, Paul, I have one that would love your attention! Or we could both perhaps ignore our respective ovens entirely, how about that?


  15. Well said Paul and congratulations on your readership.

    Yours is one of the blogs I visit on a daily basis as sometimes the negativity of the MSM, the likes of ‘proud’ Scots, Naughtie, Call Kaye and the rest, do my head in and I need to be cheered up.
    It’s like getting a verbal massage.

    Enjoy your oven cleaning, I think mines self-clean, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

  16. Votenoborders are obviously out to reposition and rebrand all us Nats as true Brits.

    Took a few photos of signs at the Border recently which definitely prove there is a border at present as one lots says Welcome to Scotland and the other announces England and Northumberland.

    With no borders what would the Scottish Borders become? Instead of being in the south, we’d be in a north that stretches from Watford to Shetland.

  17. Wee Ginger Dug – a scourer that reaches into every corner of the earth and cleans out the filth in the body politic. Well done, Wee Dug, the universal cleanser.

  18. Congratulations on the figures. This is a beautifully written blog which I publicize to all my friends. Tears the Unionist nonsense apart with great humour.

  19. Tory donating millionaire and a London PR company———-cheeky barsteward claiming grassroots movement and bbc braindead reporting it

    n1 dug

  20. The VNB website is magnificent – in a Schadenfreude sense, but unfortunately they seem to have put in a mechanism since yesterday to stop the battiest comments from appearing. My favourite was from someone who wanted VNB to get rid of the border between Hungary and Slovakia because it had an ugly shape on the map. Yes, I know…
    Their ‘country repositioning’ guru, Ms Gilmore, sounds interesting. Maybe she could reposition Scotland to somewhere near Turkey – great weather, nice neighbours and fantastic food!
    They also have photos of their supporters who, in the main, look suicidal.
    Very unsuicidal is their combo of wholesome young popsters, photographed with a disturbingly sinister looking older man. Having listened to their musical offering in support of the union, I can understand why the VNB supporters look suicidal – they listened to it too.

    • I hear a brief snippet of it. It didn’t exactly sound cheery and uplifting.

      I spent this afternoon cleaning the toilet. Which isn’t that different from writing blog posts about Project Fear really.

    • ‘Country positioning’? I already know where my country is positioned. It’s in the Northwest of Europe with a large, populous peninsula on its southern border.

    • Waiting for the David Bowie remix…
      (congratulations wee dug from another of this weeks converts to your blog – great work)

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  22. Votenoborders,
    So grass roots and open that it took me 2 minutes to get blocked and deleted. Is this what I pay taxes for.

  23. A polished turd is still a turd. A fake “grassroots” campaign group is still a fake. It has no roots whatsoever, and it doesn’t take long for people to catch on and the sheer level of ridicule to force it into hiding.

    The problem for this group de-toxing the tory brand is that historically they’ve never enjoyed much support here. And in the latter half of the 20th century they became regarded as Anti-Scottish. Now tory is just a four letter word. Most Scots regard them as shit on the heels of their shoes. The only way this firm could succeed would be to convince the Tories to admit that they are shits. Then try to sell Scots that being a shit is ok. It’s never going to work. Money down the drain and the best they can do is remind Scots how shit they really are.

    Now some daft arse has allowed this group of turn polishers lose on the Bettertogether campaign. Its comedy that will write itself.

  24. Shame you’re in Glasgowshire or I’d be along in the morning to clean the hoose leaving ye mair time to blog.
    Keep up the guid work.

  25. For anyone that has not already seen this on “Wings” please click the link below and see what one of these evil cybernats has gone and done!

    Acanchi seem to be about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. They don’t seem to have figured out how the internet works. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • If anyone is puzzled as to how the VNB,com thing works. When Acaachi (presumably) bought the web address they bought and for a couple of quid more they could have bought the “,com” as well. But they didn’t! Some evil cybernat did and I’m still laughing!

      Even Blair McDougal seems like good value compared to Acanchi.

  26. It may be that the website and rock and roll combo (!) are just an amusing diversion. What they are really planning to rebrand is AS, the SNP and Scotland – that beautiful land of Tory shires, nuns riding to Matins on their bicycles and warm beer!
    Good work on the spoof web address WOS, shows initiative and entrepreneurial risk taking. Where did they raise the risk capital from ?

    • It wasn’t WoS itself just an ordinary WoS punter who did it off his/her own back and posted it in the comments. Credit where it is due. And I tip my hat to them for their efforts.

  27. All the comments on have been deleted which is a shame as the ones from their supporters were the funniest.

  28. Is that the same Fiona (the ‘has been’ actress) that forwarded a badly written article last week in the Guardian saying a lot of guff that she visits Scotland and just has to speak up …….blah, blah? Aye, the old girl/boy network is alive and going strong!

    • The person who wrote the Guardian article was called Fiona Laird. So doubtless a different Fiona.
      You’re spot on that it’s a piss poor article though.

      Fiona seems to be one of those poor sowels who seems to think that possessing a percentage of “Scottish genes” (whatever they are), somehow gives her a deep insight into the meaning of Scottishness.

      I once met a guy in America like that. He proudly told me that all of his great grandparents were Scottish and that made him more Scottish than me, because half of mine were Irish.

      I told him – “Gaun dook fur chips ya muppet.” He didn’t understand the insult – which only proved my point. Then he got annoyed when I told him I knew Asian people who are 100% more Scottish than he could ever be.

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