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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?

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

SconeInSixtySeconds Sun 14-Oct-12 06:46:36

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.

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