Happily there is a growing number of people in education, the media and politics who understand the schizophrenic nature of the British Council as it seeks to represent itself as friend while acting as competitor. The good news is that the latest person to publicly recognise the problem is the "Chief Executive" of the British Council, Martin Davidson. He doesn't perceive it as a problem, of course, because for the British Council it is not a problem. It just happens to be for everybody else.
Patrick Watson's blog on this is short and to the point.