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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.

0liverb0liverbuttface Fri 12-Oct-12 22:19:40


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?

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