Isn’t it time to end the BBC’s license to extort?

(91 Posts)
FreedomToChoose Fri 12-Oct-12 19:45:04

In light of recent events isn’t it time we have the right to decide what TV services we buy and who we pay our money to? Earlier this year the BBC even made a royalty payment to Garry Glitter because they still choose to show programs with him performing in them. Why should we be forced to pay Garry Glitter just because we want to watch Television? Why can’t we just subscribe to SKY if we so choose?

Why should we be forced to buy the BBC’s service? Why shouldn’t we be able to watch TV without been harassed into paying the BBC? Isn’t this how gangsters work? All be it using the courts rather than heavies.

Rupert Murdoch may be scum but at least I get to choose whether to fund him or not, at least I can buy the mirror newspaper without having to buy or pay the sun for the privilege! What other product or service do we have to stand for this with and be bullied into buying in this way? I want to buy SKY but I don’t want to buy the BBC, why can’t I do this? Does anybody ever question the morality of this principle? Or have we all just been brainwashed into believing it is acceptable and morally ok? Why are the people who don’t pay made to look like the bad guys?

Why should we have been forced to fund SaVILE? And pay to make his TV programs when people at the BBC basically seemed to know what was going on and were covering it up even until a couple of weeks back (i.e. news night)? Why should we have been forced to be his enabler and give him a position that allowed him to do this? Why should we have been forced to pay for his Rolls Royce in which he would drive around raping our children?

Why can’t the BBC use a subscription technology like SKY? The technology has been around for decades. The BBC may keep people in work but so did the Krays, it doesn’t justify this way of operating and forcing people to support you? The value for money is not the issue at stake here! Why do people who defend it keep saying that? Is it because there is nothing else they can say to defend it? Why can’t the BBC operate like other channels and use advertising, subscription or both? Why can’t the public be allowed to choose?

I also wonder if we should all be doing what Noel Edmunds did and refuse to pay. Enough people did it in Australia and in the end they had to abolish it. Isn’t it time to stop supporting this extortion racket for moral reasons alone? What morality justifies the BBC license fee? By the way there is one of those government e petition things to abolish the TV licence if you Google it you will find it.

If the government want to give the economy a boost by putting money back in people’s pockets is this not a £120 a year start which should be the very top of the list? If David Cameron wants to now let the public start choosing what they spend our money on can’t we start on this? Isn’t this less important than welfare? Who else is for this tax cut? Is it me who is mad or just most the rest of the country who seem to think this is ok? Or is it the majority who support it? What’s your view?

hermioneweasley Fri 12-Oct-12 19:50:55

The BBC is the envy of the world and is the gold standard for independent journalism and news reporting because of the way it is funded. My friends in the US would happily pay the licence fee for the quality provided.

alcofrolic Fri 12-Oct-12 20:10:02

And have Sky instead? With adverts every 7 minutes or so, so you end up paying for products you have no interest in whatsoever? Are you joking?

The BBC is costing less than 40p a day, and still provides some quality TV. My basic, no frills (or thrills) Sky package already costs double that!

OatyBeatie Fri 12-Oct-12 20:16:58

I'm very very very happy to pay the BBC licence fee. And I'm very happy with the BBC's willingness to face up to its part in turning a blind eye to the predatory sexual culture of the 70s and 80s. I don't doubt for a second that the same culture was present in every other part of the entertainment industry. The BBC is demonstrating a willingness to face up to the past that other organisations ought to follow.

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Fri 12-Oct-12 20:18:09


bureni Fri 12-Oct-12 20:26:14

I have to pay a license even though I receive no BBC broadcasts, they claim it is because my television can receive BBC channels if I ever decide to get a suitable antenna after which I can only receive bbc1/2/3/4 and 3 other rubbish bbc channels in addition to bbc3 and 4.

WinkySlink Fri 12-Oct-12 20:30:37

Hah...yeah, so PAY more to watch Sky than BBC, whilst Sky is also raking t in with adverts...I m not an idiot, thanks, so I will give that option a miss.

Think of the huge range of services that the bbc supply, most of them free to the user, the variety and depth. I would be happy to pay much more.

I think it is something to be proud of, and if they get things 'wrong' some times, well whatorganisation of its size and extent doesnt? Give them a break...this is a classic exmple of right wing press supporting massive profit mking organisations by pushing an anti bbc agenda. It stinks, and watch them do the same with the NHS.

bureni Fri 12-Oct-12 20:34:19

"huge range of services"? I can only receive 2 channels worth watching which are BBC1 and 2, that is IF I had an antenna pointed in the right direction to receive them.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Fri 12-Oct-12 20:39:24

The BBC is excellent value for money, if we lose it we will miss it

PS Are you Rupert Murdoch?

WinkySlink Fri 12-Oct-12 20:43:55

Well you clearly have internet access, so there is the extensive website plus iplayer.. Also services for schools etc, numerous radio channels and free resources to download or post off for. Nevermind the general societal benefit of all tv households having access to the type of programming that educates, where they might not choose another paid for service that provides such options, and yet they may greatly benefit from programming such as David Attenborough's output, the World at War etc.

booki Fri 12-Oct-12 22:07:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Animation Fri 12-Oct-12 22:09:45

Freedom - you've got a good point there! Doesn't seem right to me either that a £120 TV licence is compulsory with a tele. A bit like protection money! grin

CassandraApprentice Fri 12-Oct-12 22:12:29

I think the BBC is value for money - the children’s channels with no adverts and quality programming , the good quality news programs , love the radio stations, and drama and documentaries and then there all the stuff on the websites. The shear amount of resources for DC on their website is unbelievable. The iplayer is great technology and like the pod casts for radio.

I think if it was charged separately for the services it would cost a lot more and I'd worry the quality would drop.

Buy a radio, check out the website, get free view box or digital TV to see other bbc channels - BBC3, BBC4, Cbeebies, cbbc, news 24 channel.

You can't really blame them for your poor equipment issues and lack of knowledge about their services.


FunkatronDada Fri 12-Oct-12 22:21:47

I think the Telegraph has rotted your brain.

FreedomToChoose Fri 12-Oct-12 22:34:33

Am I Rupert Murdoch, LOL, I wish, maybe this is how he would spend his time who knows? LOL, yeah I can appreciate it may come across a bit that way but no my objection is purely based on this method of funding regardless of the particular companies involved, I would not agree to this gangster like extortion racket way of funding for any product or service.

The quality of the service is not the issue, that’s all anybody can ever say to defend it but it doesn’t change the morality of being forced to buy something that not everybody wants to buy, it’s like saying Persil is the best quality and most popular washing powder so therefore everybody has to buy it by law or else you can’t use a washing machine to wash your clothes.

Nothing can change the fact it’s a legal extortion racket no matter how good the value or quality! The Kray twins provided business in their area with fantastic protection, but they shouldn’t have been allowed to force people to have their services like they did.

The BBC may provide both employment and a good service but so does the mafia! Just because some like their TV programs doesn’t justify this way of operating. Maybe I do not like the kind of TV the BBC make, so why should I be forced to pay just because others like their programs, it has to be one of the worlds thinnest arguments, everybody spouts it without thinking because they have never questioned the morality of something that has always been forced upon them.

I swear you could convince people it was a good idea for them to be hung upside down in the street every day and tarred and feathered as long as they had always been used to it. Why do so few question the morality of this?

Incidentally most the TV I watch these days is on the sky arts channels, but there are so many other examples of superb television which isn’t funded by this type of extortion racket which just goes to show we do not need to be harassed and extorted just to have high quality TV and even if we did it wouldn't justify it anyway! Is it any surprise the BBC turned a blind eye to criminals when they behave like criminals themselves? Why are we surprised?

If the BBC is so good then why does it have to force people to fund it? Why can’t it charge a subscription like sky? After all if everybody truly wants it they will subscribe anyway and it will hardly make any difference and then those who want it can have it and those who don’t won’t and will sleep safe in the knowledge that not one penny of their money has gone to Mr Glitter, how is that not fair?

Why not let people choose? If people want to buy it then they will anyway and it won’t make any difference! What are they sacred of? Maybe they know many people won’t want to buy it? Maybe that’s why they have to force us like gangsters do, the only difference is the immoral law is on their side and actually helps them to extort people!

I really do find it deeply immoral, no LTD company which the BBC is by the way should be allowed to force people to buy its products or services or else have the right to deny people from using that sort of service at all, even if it is supplied from other providers and the fact that it can use the courts to harass people and enforce it is an absolute moral outrage!

I know they may have to scale back a bit if they operated with a subscription, advertising or did both like sky, but at least it would be a fair way of operating both in regards to the public and their competition.

I am sure they could still provide a very good service and still make excellent programs and fund themselves in a moral and just way. This is why I personally am going to sign the e petition to abolish it. I know it may not do much good just yet but at least it will start the ball rolling and send a message and getting people talking about the issue is always the first step. I sincerely believe the days of operating in this way are numbered and that people will at some point reject it. My apologies for getting a little hot under the collar.

MMMarmite Fri 12-Oct-12 22:52:07

I agree, it's unfair to charge you for bbc channels just because you own a tv. It's a very regressive tax: however little money you earn, however little bbc you watch, you must pay £145 per year just to own a cheap second-hand tv.

A lot of magistrates' time is wasted on prosecuting this, and the majority of people prosecuted are women, who tend to be at home in the daytime when the license enforcement come. Those who can't pay the fine spend time in jail.

The BBC should be a subscription service, then those who think it's great value for money can continue to opt in. Personally I love their programs and would happily opt in, but I don't see why people who dislike the bbc, or would rather save the money and watch other channels, should have to pay for it.

Or if you believe it's a public service, which should be provided for everyone, then it should come out of normal taxes. That way the amount people pay towards it would be proportional to their income, a much less regressive system.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Fri 12-Oct-12 22:53:43

OP - you're not "...forced to buy something..."

No-one is holding a gun to your head and making you own a television.

alcofrolic Fri 12-Oct-12 22:54:56

I don't want to watch adverts. I hate adverts. I an not interested in adverts. I loathe it when programmes are interrupted by adverts.
This is why I like the licence fee. There are no adverts...........

Also, I could watch BBC on iPlayer without paying a licence fee. No-one's FORCED to pay the fee! (It sounds like you'd be hung, drawn and quartered if you didn't cough up!)

If you're watching Sky, you have to watch the adverts. Adverts are the 'Sky equivalent' of the licensing fee. I find that 'deeply immoral', as I don't want to fund any of the companies advertising on Sky TV.

MMMarmite Fri 12-Oct-12 23:05:59

UnimaginativeDad -

It's an outdated system that stems from the days when the bbc was the only channel on tv. Anyone who wishes to watch sky or channel 4 or itv is forced to pay for the bbc.

It only sounds sensible because we are so used to it. But imagine if someone tried to impose it on a newer technology like the internet. Imagine if the government said that, because the government and bbc websites are so great, and many internet users go on them, we should have an "internet licence fee", and anyone who wants an internet connection in the UK must pay £150 for these websites, even if they never use them and just want to go on facebook and wikipedia. Would it fair to force every internet user, whatever their interests, to pay for those specific websites whether they use them or not?

nepkoztarsasag Fri 12-Oct-12 23:38:57

OP - you are Frederic Michel and I claim my lifelong subscription to Sky Atlantic!

SushiPaws Fri 12-Oct-12 23:43:45

I'm happy to pay a licence fee, I think the bbc is worth it.

MrJudgeyPants Sat 13-Oct-12 00:02:11

Having actually worked for the BBC (in various engineering departments), I can attest that I know of no other organisation so adept at pissing money away.

The BBC licence is, in effect, a Telly Tax - it is levied whether you choose to watch the BBC or not. In this age of digital platforms and sophisticated conditional access systems there is no reason why the BBC could not become subscription based with viewers given the option to opt out of their services. Modern CA technology (especially when the subscription is paid by direct debit) would probably make collecting subscriptions a lot easier and cheaper than the current license system.

If this were to be the case, I would probably choose to opt into the system to continue watching the BBC output but I can sympathise with those who would rather not pay the fee and see no reason to resort to using the law to compel them to pay.

FreedomToChoose Sat 13-Oct-12 00:14:31

Yes UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername you are been forced to buy something, you are if you want to have a Television set, and who is going to go without that just to prove a point to the BBC and more to the point why should we have to? Please if anything just answer that because I am certain you can’t justify it morally. At least you can own and watch a television without having to pay Sky either through subscribing or watching their adverts if you so choose and the same goes for ITV and other channels, why can’t we do the same with the BBC?

Why should only the BBC get public funding? Why not Sky or ITV I am sure they could make better programs too if we did the same with them? Do you really not get what I am saying or do you just think people should be forced to fund it because you yourself like it which I tend to find is often the case with people who support it and IMO that is just selfish not moral, why not let people choose? Are you really that afraid that most people in actual fact don’t really think it is worth it and don’t actually want to be paying the BBC this money, sounds like it to me.

Incidentally I have known people who have had to go without because they couldn’t afford it, some people right now are struggling to even feed their families, do you honestly want people not only to struggle to keep their heads above water but also not even to be able to watch television? Are you honestly saying that there aren’t people who are desperately in need of that £120 a year tax cut? If not then at least you would have to agree there are better ways we could spend this money. Would you honestly not prefer to see it spent on child poverty? Or if David Cameron really cares so much about disabled children then why not spend it on them and protect some of their services he has so disgustingly cut! He is keen to give us these “choices” when it’s something he wants to cut but not when it isn’t. Isn’t there a better use for the BBC’s public money? Shouldn’t we have the same debate he wants us to have with welfare with this too?

This is not about which political bias you support, by the way I read the independent not the telegraph although I am used to people trying to paint me out as some sort of militant nutter for having this view on TV licensing, but people who do that are missing the point, it’s not about the value or the quality of whether it supports your own political bias or how much you personally like the service, the fact of the matter is that this way of operating for any limited company with share holders is wrong. I would object to it whoever it was that was doing it.

And forget the poor attempt of the iplayer cop out, excuses like that are just pathetic, most people want to watch Television on a Television and why can’t they, why should they have to pay the BBC to do that, who made them the Godfather of television, it’s like they think they own it?

Also the BBC are trying to get the law changed so that you can’t even watch online without paying them which I imagine they will probably achieve. Why can’t the BBC use technology like Sky does that lets people choose whether to subscribe? Then those who want it can have it and those who don’t wont and the BBC will get exactly the amount of money they deserve to spend on making their programs, no more no less and everything will be fair, what possible moral argument can you use to object to this? I shouldn’t be forced to fund a particular company just because other people like them. It’s TV not health care for heaven’s sake, if we were spending it on that then I wouldn’t be objecting.

I like Persil washing powder but I don’t support a law that says you can’t buy Daz without buying my favourite washing powder too because it will make the product better for me and allow me to buy it at a cheaper price, that’s basically what people who support it are saying, that to me is just so selfish and totally fascist, where is the freedom to choose?

People have been so brainwashed into thinking this is an acceptable way for a LTD company to operate that they not only accept it but even support it, it’s almost like Stockholm syndrome. Think about the morality of it, what other product or service would you accept it with? Who else would you let tell you that you can’t buy their competitors service unless you have their too, regardless of whether you want it or not. Name one other example?

Forget about reading the telegraph I think some people have been watching too much of the BBC’s propaganda that tells them how wonderful it is that we are forced to pay. “Unique” funding, LOL, more like legal extortion and harassment.

My apologies I really do not mean to insult anyone but I genuinely do find this very morally wrong and the fact that the people who don’t pay get dragged through the courts and made to look like the bad guys just makes me sick. I don’t know I guess many people will always just think I am mad one and never understand where I am coming from.

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Sat 13-Oct-12 00:22:02

Who are you campaigning for OP? And why on Mumsnet?

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Sat 13-Oct-12 01:08:10


- if you want to own a TV, then you have to have a licence.

If you don't want to pay for a licence, then don't have a TV.

It's that simple. Now stop whining like a spoilt child.

YokoUhOh Sat 13-Oct-12 06:56:18

Absolutely not. (Btw, Gary Glitter would have claimed negligible performance royalties for that appearance, as Mike Leander wrote the songs; I think the Daily Fail claim that he received thousands is plain lies and part of a wider campaign to discredit the BBC).

MrsjREwing Sat 13-Oct-12 07:04:01

I thought GG took BBC to court for omitting him from old TOTP shows.

I hate the idea of GG getting royalties to pay for things like trips to the far east to harm kids like he did.

YokoUhOh Sat 13-Oct-12 07:22:54

Well, if they keep running full TOTP episodes from 1977 etc. Then we'll be seeing lots more of J. Savile... I think it would be a shame to pull this series as it's just getting interesting, musically-speaking, perhaps they can edit him out.

LtEveDallas Sat 13-Oct-12 07:27:03

I would embrace a subscription fee for BBC rather than a TV licence. I don't watch BBC, I don't listen to BBC radio, I don't see why I should pay for it.

MeFour Sat 13-Oct-12 07:30:43

Freedom, if one can't afford to pay then don't have a tv. It's not a necessity. I didn't have one until I was an adult and managed just fine.

SoggyMoggy Sat 13-Oct-12 07:34:35

In the early seventies NASA and the US Dept of Health, Education and Welfare got together to put together a TV channel intended to distribute educational programming. It eventually became known as The Learning Channel, or TLC for short.

It was eventually privatised. Now it specializes in child exploitation programming (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Toddlers and Tiaras) and other nightmare grade 'reality' programming.

I will happily pay the licence fee because BBC in general puts out far better programmes than all the other channels and I listen to BBC radio too. We pay for sky too, but if I had to chose between the two, I'd always choose the BBC.

YokoUhOh Sat 13-Oct-12 07:43:21

Soggy that's shocking! That is as good an argument against privatisation as any.

LtEveDallas Sat 13-Oct-12 07:59:11

Except, the reason that TLC was privatised in 1980 was because of terrible viewing figures. No-one was watching. What's the point in spending 'public money' on a service that wasn't wanted?

Consumer demand, the public spoke and the public got what it wanted.

MaureenCognito Sat 13-Oct-12 08:00:47

I dislike the use of the courts as the bbcs debt collector

Bluegrass Sat 13-Oct-12 08:22:31

The BBC does not charge anyone a licence fee to watch its programmes. The government imposes a licence fee on people who posess the necessary equipment to receive live television. They decided long ago that the money they raise from that licence fee should be ring fenced and used to fund a public service broadcaster, quite how this makes the BBC like the mafia god only knows!

I love the naive optimism of anyone who thinks that a government would just hand this large some of money back to people. Even if they chose to scrap the BBC (which I think would be a huge loss as it represents one of the very best things this country has produced) you can be damn sure that a similar fee/tax would be levied for some other reason (like funding communications infrastructure). People are used to paying that money, and that is too good an opportunity for a government not to exploit.

LtEveDallas Sat 13-Oct-12 10:13:22

According to its own figures, less than 11% of the licence fee revenue went towards things like 'funding communications infrastructure' so to that end, as I am NOT a BBC user I will happily pay £15 quid a year towards that rather than £145.50 for something I don't use!

Bluegrass Sat 13-Oct-12 10:32:28

Dallas, I'm not talking about what the BBC does with the money. I'm saying that the government, knowing that people already budget for spending this amount would simply continue to collect it for some other purpose that suits them.

Anyway, as the argument always goes, I don't get to pick and choose what my taxes go towards, whether it is the NHS, Defence spending etc, I have to accept that they are allocated to whatever the government deems appropriate. Why should people think the BBC is any different. At least in that case there is some ability to opt out if you don't own a tv. I could have private medical insurance up to my eyeballs but no one will ever let me escape paying full whack for the NHS.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Sat 13-Oct-12 11:01:45


British governments of the day spent a small fortune in developing the equipment and infrastructure to allow radio and television broadcasting, and it remains a significant benefit for Britain not only financially but as an expression of 'soft' power on the worldwide stage.

Therefore the Government is entirely justified in implementing whatever framework that maintains these aspects.

LtEveDallas Sat 13-Oct-12 11:03:46

Ah I misunderstood then, apologies

LtEveDallas Sat 13-Oct-12 11:08:13

Although it doesn't change my stance. Once I am out of my current employment I won't be paying for a TV licence, and i'll take whatever punishment I'm due.

The BBC figures for spending can be found HERE the majority of the cash is spent on programmes.

MaureenCognito Sat 13-Oct-12 11:43:26

Dallas. You'll get a huge fine. Honest. Plus costs.
You must pay.

LtEveDallas Sat 13-Oct-12 12:45:40

Oh no, I do get that Maureen, I'm just ready to take the risk that I won't get caught - TV licence prosecutions etc come into that 11%, I'm willing to play the odds on getting caught or not.

Animation Sat 13-Oct-12 12:51:10

Why is it compulsory with having a TV?

Cozy9 Sat 13-Oct-12 23:02:43

The BBC is a con. It's just a make-work scheme for post lefties.

FreedomToChoose Sun 14-Oct-12 02:44:31

Who am I campaigning for DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost? And why am I here? Sorry I didn’t realise it was such an exclusive club. This is exactly the brainwashed mentality I am talking about.

Why is it that in order for me to object to the morality of the issue concerned that I have to either be Rupert Murdoch, work for him or one of the BBC’s other competitors or have some shadowy agenda? Do you honestly think you have be one of such things in order to find the TV licence immoral and want such a system changed? How absurd is that? Is that your best argument for the TV licence? Doesn’t sound like much of a case for it to me.

I do not work for anybody who has an interest in destroying the BBC and am not a part of any shadowy conspiracy to do so. I simply don’t agree with the morality of this issue, can’t you understand that? Why is it so crazy to think this way? Talk about when you can’t win the argument just try and dish the dirt on your opponent.

If your argument was any good then you could defeat my argument even if I did work for Murdoch and regardless of my motives, which as it happens are basically just for a fair system, I want the BBC to continue but just in a way that is fair not only to its competition but also the public.

Instead of trying to attack my obviously conspiratorial motives for objecting to such morality why don’t you try and actually win the argument? Perhaps you would like to try again and answer why I can’t watch TV without paying the BBC? Explain how that is moral if you can, I haven’t heard one good case that justifies it yet.

I know you may like the BBC but why do I have to subsidise the products that you want and like so they are cheaper and better quality for you, that just seems selfish to me. Why not let the public choose who they want to buy? Why would that be unfair? Explain if you can.

Sorry to get tetchy I do not mean to be hostile but I really don’t think such a way to argue is relevant or fair. I don’t accuse people who support the issue of having an agenda or working for the BBC.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sun 14-Oct-12 04:45:07

Freedom - you've got a good point there! Doesn't seem right to me either that a £120 TV licence is compulsory with a tele. A bit like protection money!

SNORT tv licence isn't compulsory, only if you watch live TV. If you have a tv and don't want to pay for a licence have it detuned and watch non live tv on itv player, bbc iplayer, dvd's, ect.

Then you won't have to pay anything.

ScarePhyllis Sun 14-Oct-12 05:25:28

The licence fee is not collected by the BBC. It is a fixed government tax for being able to receive live television transmissions.

The government chooses to use most, but not all of, this tax to fund the BBC as a public service broadcaster. If you don't want the BBC to be the public service station, then our system provides a means for you to express this at the ballot box - lobby your MP for the charter not to be renewed in 2016.

But remember that the BBC isn't just funded so British people can watch Eastenders - it's partly funded because it's useful to the country as a projection of cultural power around the world. That's why the World Service exists and will be funded through the TV licence soon.

Although there are aspects of BBC culture I do not like, I think it would be a huge shame to dismantle it as you would never be able to get all the accumulated resources and people back under one roof again if you wanted an all-encompassing public broadcaster at some point in the future.

ScarePhyllis Sun 14-Oct-12 05:32:20

Actually I said something slightly inaccurate there - yes the BBC does collect the licence fee, but it can only do so because government sets the fee and subcontracts collection out to the BBC (TV Licensing).

ravenAK Sun 14-Oct-12 05:47:35

I would agree that technological advances have made a bit of a nonsense of the whole TV license system.

I'd happily see the BBC funded by central government, from general taxation, as a public service. Which is the situation now, really, as Bluegrass has pointed out, except for this outdated business of licence fees, which, I'd imagine, are less than cost-efficient to collect.

The value of the BBC is that it's a public service which is accountable to the public rather than to its shareholders. So it's not comparing like for like to say 'Why not Sky or ITV I am sure they could make better programs too if we did the same with them?'.

Both of these example channels do already make very successful programmes ('better' is always going to be subjective) which appeal to their target audience, & are commercially successful re: advertising, & if they aren't they're axed. It's a business model that works for them. Which is fine & encourages diversity in programming.

They don't, however, replace the range of services provided by the BBC.

ScarePhyllis Sun 14-Oct-12 05:56:19

To answer the OP's question about "morality", we all have to accept that in the kind of democracy we live in, we all accept personal compromises about what taxation is used for. We all pay for things we don't necessarily personally need or want, because they are a public good - or are judged to be a public good by our representatives (who we can of course throw out if we want). A majority of the people in this country will never need NHS cancer services - should the NHS scrap cancer treatments? Of course not, because they are a public good. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. I don't want to have to pay George Galloway's salary, but I accept that it is a public good that MPs are salaried.

Or of course we could just have Athenian-style direct democracy where nobody ever gets anything done because everyone spends all their time voting directly on every single policy proposal. hmm

Only someone who has only ever lived in the UK would complain about paying for the BBC.

There were plenty of badly thought out decisions - in the past - and plenty of problems - of course, enormous enormous corporation - but the standard of programming is gargantuan.

Thus spake the expat dying of boredom in Australia where Escape to the Country (2008) is peak time Friday Night viewing. And no I'm not fucking kidding

LtEveDallas Sun 14-Oct-12 08:22:01

Only someone who has only ever lived in the UK would complain about paying for the BBC

Scone, I have lived in Northern Ireland (2yrs) Germany (5yrs), Belgium 1yr) Norway (1yr) and Cyprus (18 months) - and I still complain! smile

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Sun 14-Oct-12 10:33:39

freedom it's very rare for someone who hasn't posted before to come on the boards with such perfect paragraphs. So why here?

Animation Sun 14-Oct-12 10:49:34

"Freedom - you've got a good point there! Doesn't seem right to me either that a £150 TV licence is compulsory with a tele. A bit like protection money!"

"SNORT tv licence isn't compulsory, only if you watch live TV. If you have a tv and don't want to pay for a licence have it detuned and watch non live tv on itv player, bbc iplayer, dvd's, ect."

It doesn't seem right that I automatically need a licence if I buy a TV.

I think the OP has made some good points.

Maybe it is time for a rethink - or a review!

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Sun 14-Oct-12 16:05:32


Scone, I have lived in Northern Ireland (2yrs) Germany (5yrs), Belgium 1yr) Norway (1yr) and Cyprus (18 months) - and I still complain!

Sounds like most of that time you were getting Forces telly - which, of course, receives a lot of BBC programming either at a discounted rate or completely gratis.

KatyPeril Sun 14-Oct-12 16:12:32

I personally think most television is rubbish. I just cancelled the licence.

BeatTheClock Sun 14-Oct-12 16:20:02

Bbc4 is worth every penny imo. If it wasn't for that I would hardly watch tv at all.

LtEveDallas Sun 14-Oct-12 17:54:41

Nah Dad, BFBS is crap, wall to wall soaps - cant abide them. I've always had Sky sometimes illegally or the host country version - like CytaNet in Cyprus.

grovel Sun 14-Oct-12 17:58:43

I hardly watch any TV but I'd pay the licence just for Radios 3, 4 and 5Live.

nooka Sun 14-Oct-12 18:28:11

I'd love to pay a fee and be able to watch BBC programs. We live in Canada now, pay a significant amount of money to receive any TV at all, and it is almost all really crap. Can't watch iplayer as we aren't in the UK so it is blocked.

Interestingly there is a Canadian broadcasting service (CBC) but although it is subsidized (I think) it works on the same advertising principle, and is generally pretty low quality. Relying on advertising means catering for the lowest common denominator, or having to watch stuff for whatever targeted groups the advertisers are interested in (not middle aged women!). Subscription is a possible model but would mean the BBC giving up any public service remit as they would likely lose all their casual viewers.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sun 14-Oct-12 23:30:51

When you buy a TV it is not compulsory to buy a licence. Even tv licencing will tell you if you don't watch live tv, you don't need a licence, they will visit to confirm that you don't use live tv, and then leave you alone for a bit, rechecking every now and again.

You don't have to let their inspectors into your home.
If you do, you can refuse to allow them upstairs, as thats private, but they check kitchen and living room for a tv that is playing live tv.

If they turn up and your tv has no plug on it, they are not, unless they're a qualified electrician, allowed to reconnect a plug to the tv.

They have to treat you with respect and have to leave when you tell them to.

If you write to them removing their rights of implied access, they can't visit they can only send one of their usual threatening letters.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Mon 15-Oct-12 09:38:28

Licence fee is £145.50 - a shade over £12 per month for all BBC TV, radio and web services.

You only have to look at pay TV services elsewhere in the world to see that getting something like BBC4 only would cost that (if not more).

Sure, there's a lot of stuff on the BBC that I don't personally like (e.g. I think showing something like EastEnders is morally reprehensible). But in the pay TV model that the OP would rather have, we'd be paying a hell of a lot more for a hell of a lot less.

(of course, this may be a good thing in that many of us would switch off the television and go and do something less boring instead - but that's another topic altogether)

WhoWhatWhereWhen Mon 15-Oct-12 11:21:15

I've experienced free to air TV in Australia where the ABC are a pale shadow of the BBC, all the other channels mostly just pump out reality TV and shows from the USA.

The licence fee is worth it just for the BBC alone

Blu Mon 15-Oct-12 11:28:44

What ScarePhyllis said.

Extortion? The buyout of sporting events which force us to pay for expensive channels and still be subject to bloody adverts.

The BBC acts as a huge training ground and quality control seed-bed, with loads of broadcasters and TV artists learning their trade there and then moving on. It benefits broadcasting as a whole.

I would actually pay MORE for a BBC subscription iof it meant I could do away with adverts in my front room, bombarding DS, interrupting moments of prime TV etc.

meganator Wed 17-Oct-12 11:19:11

Am shocked at the BBC and scared to continue letting my toddler watch cbeebies as they after all may be harboring some modern day jimmy savile within their studios and we would be none the wiser. Have emailed the BBC asking how they intend to vet their presenters and staff, ensure these cover ups don't continue and keep loyal viewers like myself in light of recent allegations and I received an automated response which didn't even attempt to address my question. If they wish to be so elusive two can play that game. Switching off all BBC programming within my household, boycotting them in every sense of the word, boycotting tv license, joining every campaign to boycott them and their extortion.

meganator Wed 17-Oct-12 11:22:00

Freedom to Choose: I support you. Let me know how we can work together to campaign for fair public television (such as PBS in the States, funded by voluntary contributions not extortionate tv license fees used to fund peadophiles), justice and future protection of children.

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Wed 17-Oct-12 11:22:36

Um, even if Justin did turn out to be some sort of mega-paedo* how on earth would your toddler be at risk from watching Justin's House or Mr Tumble?

*I absolutely don't think this will happen

SoupDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 11:22:50

FreedomToChoose So, who are you? Someone who's registered on MN just to post this? A journalist with an article to write?

I see you've also posted the same rant here.

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Wed 17-Oct-12 11:24:16

I asked that Soup and she/he/it seems to have gone away

SoupDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 11:26:13

Probably gone to work.

SoupDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 11:26:35

Having done enough research.

HecateLarpo Wed 17-Oct-12 11:29:11

Well I want the choice. I object to being forced to pay for something like a tv channel. I want to watch tv - I do have sky - so I have to have the tv licence. Well, what if I don't want to watch the bbc? I really, really really object to not having that option.

I would likely pay it, cos I enjoy many things on the bbc. I just want the choice.

meganator Wed 17-Oct-12 11:30:43

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost??? Really?? My toddler wouldn't be at risk watching it but perhaps children visiting bbc studios to watch some uneducational rubbish live may... and do you think the bbc would have safeguards in place to prevent this? Apparently not as they have not addressed this issue of safeguards and vetting in the slightest. I choose not to support programming and corporations that harbor, enable and encourage paedo's and sexual predators. My choice not to be extorted.

meganator Wed 17-Oct-12 11:33:44

Funny all of a sudden "Justin's House" was mentioned out of nowhere. So I am not the only one a bit suspicious. Very telling that.

Encouraging children to come over to his "house" and "wiggle their bottoms"!!! Uh... inappropriate!!!!

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Wed 17-Oct-12 11:38:35

Wow. Just wow.

slug Wed 17-Oct-12 12:30:16

Here's a suggestion OP. Give up your TV then you won't be 'forced' to pay the licence fee. You will, however, still be able to avail yourself of the other BBC services such as the radio, website, World Service, resources for schools etc. All for free with no adverts. All paid for by those of us who value the BBC. biscuit

However, if you prefer to pay money to an organisation that has systematically and blatantly broken the law over many years, feel free to pay your tainted penny to Murdoch and his cronies. Remember when you do though, that it is Murdoch who owns the Sun, a paper that degrades women on a daily basis then ask yourself just what levels of hypocracy you are willing to accept.

somebloke123 Wed 17-Oct-12 13:29:03

I'struck by the number of people who say that the BBC is great value and they are very happy to pay the licence fee.

In that case there's no problem - no need to make it compulsory.

Just convert it to a voluntary subscription and people will be queueing up to subscribe.

meganator Wed 17-Oct-12 14:09:48

VERY good point somebloke 123.

meganator Wed 17-Oct-12 14:11:50

I, myself HAD valued the BBC for ages... not so much now! If exploitation and sadistic abuse of children is your thing... crack on supporting these cretins.

SoupDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 14:17:49

Yes, because that's what the whole of the BBC is about isn't it?

damibasiamille Wed 17-Oct-12 20:55:23

Oh god this is scaring me! I'd consider emigrating if I could think of anywhere better to go!
I think OP must be an agent of the American Right, who think it's "immoral" for a government to tax its citizens in order to provide services for those citizens, but think it's fine and moral for that government to spend trillions on weapons of mass destruction and then invade other countries and kill innocent people.
People all over the world love the BBC because it (mostly) tells the truth; governments hate it for the very reason.
I think I'll pay a licence fee now although I don't have a TV; it's worth it just for the radio - intersting stuff all day (and night) and no commercials!

damibasiamille Wed 17-Oct-12 21:01:12

I meant governments hate it for the same reason.
And I meant interesting, not intersting!

DuelingFanjo Wed 17-Oct-12 21:10:45

no. Gary Glitter still has the right to be paid royalties. Lots of undesirable people are paid royalties by all sorts of broadcasters, not just the bbc. He will be receiving payments from all over the place. It is the government who set and control the tv license, why do you not object you are not forced to buy the bbc's service. The bbc are not gangsters, the license has always been under the control of the government. If Rupert Murdoch is scum why would you be willing to fund him? The Bbc were not covering anything up, not as an organisation and you sound a little unhinged in the rest of your rant.the way you have posted does little to form a convincing argument to get rid of the license fee, in fact the longer something like the bbc exists the less likely rants daily mail style shit like this will prevail.

bkgirl Wed 17-Oct-12 22:00:16

I support the BBC. It offers a brilliant invaluable service.= necessary for our democracy.Murdoch and cronies keep your paws off.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Thu 18-Oct-12 00:31:49

Agree with Somebloke

If y'all like it that much subscribe to it then it won't have to be compulsory for peeps who don't listen to the radio, only watch tv for kids cartoons and other stuff on sky, and want to be able to watch other stuff without worrying about an inspector knocking on their door and then being sent to prison for non payment of tv licence.

Plus side is everyone will realise what exactly they were paying for service wise and will be queuing up to get their subscription

SoupDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 06:58:04

If you don't like it, watch it all after it goes out (ie not live) and don't pay the fee at all.

WorriedBetty Thu 18-Oct-12 07:11:19

Dude! Is this how desperate Sky's PR team are getting shock

WorriedBetty Thu 18-Oct-12 07:39:20

By the way you know what this argument is really about - more people use the BBC online news, and rate it more highly than the times online which has gone to a pay-only model of use.

This is really about the free supply of good quality, well-researched online news that cuts into Murdoch's revenue model - its not about TV at all.

Newspapers are struggling without a pay model across the board. Sky feels it can use its TV weight to make the argument about the licence fee to gain control of the newspaper market online. That's what this is about. They do this in order to be able to wield political power. Lets not let them, please.

slug Thu 18-Oct-12 09:09:04

Ah, but kid's TV is one of the reasons to love the BBC. No advertising means they are not trained early to be little consumers, pestering their parents for bits of shiny plastic they see every time they watch cartoons. Yet another reason why Murdoch and his ilk are gnashing their teeth.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now