Sunday 5 July 2015


The BBC is a great institution they say. Unfortunately I don't have enough information or knowledge to debunk this statement.

To be fair, there are many great institutions in the UK. The Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects are also great institutions I hear but quite unlike the BBC, I am not threatened with eternal damnation for refusing to pay money into their coffers.

My big bugbear with the BBC is the issue of the TV Licence Fee. Why do I have to pay a licence fee? In case you don't know, you can find the official answer here

In summary, the £145.50 pa fee allows us watch a wide range of free to air TV, radio & online contents. Compared to what Sky & Virgin charge, this is quite cheap. If any of those pesky economists are to be believed, Sky should have no customers at all as they are more expensive than the BBC. But eh, these things are hard to comprehend for us small minded folks. 

The TV Licence fee also contributes to the costs of rolling out broadband to the UK population and funding Welsh Language TV channel (S4C) and local TV channels and allows the BBC's UK services to remain free of advertisements and independent of shareholder and political interest. I get this completely, we the mugged off payers of the licence fee, subsidise the broadband access of a segment of the population. And there I was thinking subsidies were a dirty and bad thing. Wrong again. Why is watching the BBC without advertisement such a big thing? Is this denying advertisement companies additional income stream. Is this a restraint of trade issue by the way? I hope some hotshot lawyer will address this issue one day in a court of law. And BBC independence, EXCUSE ME. Ask the Tory party and why they are on a massive vendetta against the BBC. 

In addition to all the above, in 2013, we the TV licence fee paying pudding - head handed over £83m to the nice people at CAPITA (Capita Business Services Ltd) They are a part of  CAPITA Plc ( that great profit making business that just by coincidence wins a huge slice of government outsourcing contracts. Nice one. Don't you just love capitalism. 
Despite all of these big grammar, I still don't get why I have to pay the TV licence and in my simplistic understanding fund the lifestyles of so called BBC stars and promote British culture. If you need an inside track into the thinking of the organisation on this issue, you will need to set aside time to read this speech by the BBC Director General. You can find the speech here. Some of the headline stuff there is really shocking. 
According to the DG, one of the reasons for the licence fee and the BBC is because they make great programmes. So does Sky & Virgin by the way and so does the Nollywood movie industry in Nigeria. : - ) I exaggerate but you get my point. These ones however don't force me to pay for their "great programmes". They appeal to me, they trick me and they try to persuade me. They don't force me and threaten me with imprisonment. Its really sad and unbelievable how the issue of the licence fee is blighting the society it claims to be enlightening. Please read this article here or do your own research. 
According to its own record the BBC in the year 2013/14 made in excess of £3b from the collection of TV licence fees. For a fraction of this sum, Virgin & Sky will gladly make enough propaganda movies and programs to promote British culture. They will also ensure their news editorial policy is aligned with the British government's policies. Its what profit oriented organisations do. They ensure the payer of the piper dictates the tune. 
In theory, the £3b swiped from us by the BBC can buy over 16% of the shareholding of Sky. With less than 6 years worth of licence fees, the government and people of UK can buy all of Sky(lock, stock and barrel). Afford to put no further money into its operations while we ask it to get on its bike and pay us a return on our investment. Whereas with the BBC, it is a bottomless pit, you pay from the day you buy your first television and they never let you rest even if you are dead, they still demand payment. Here is one example
I really don't get it. How is watching Top Gear, the Graham Norton Show, the David Attenborough Show or listening to Classical Music on Radio 1 promoting British culture. Are the BBC arrogant enough to think these shows won't air if the BBC didn't exist? What British Culture is Eastenders or Come Dine with me promoting? I dare say not any British culture I can relate to despite leaving in this country for almost 15 years. Yet the man at the tip of BBC wants every household in the UK to pay to fund his organisation. How terribly conceited. 
In case it passed him by, the world has changed from 1946 when the TV licence started. There is something called Cable / Satellite TV now and also that wonderful thing called the Internet. The concept of the BBC is anachronistic. It hankers back to the days when Britain was a true super power. A time when the country had a genuine say in world affairs and the British way of life was something to be promoted and proud of. Now the reality is different. The British culture is one where almost 2/3rd of the whole population lives on benefits (see here ),  one where our young kids are travelling abroad to fight a war that has absolutely nothing to do with them and live under the worst set of circumstances you can imagine. A culture where our politicians are in it for their own benefits and that of their friends. Yet we hanker after promoting such a culture that is of no relevance to a growing number of the people living here. 
I will unfortunately continue to pay the TV licence because it is a nuisance and worth less than the hassle of avoiding it. But it is plain theft in my opinion. If anybody including the government wants to promote the "great programs" made by the BBC and spread "British culture", they should pay the BBC directly and not force me to. 
If any individuals or groups are so enamoured of the BBC that they want to pay for their services, they should be allowed to this voluntarily, after all people leave their inheritances to the Battersea Dog Home or set up a direct debit to pay them 50p every month. 
The BBC can stop the rest of us who don't appreciate what they do by putting all of their programs behind a pay wall. The Times have done it. So have The Sun. They can they charge whatever they like and run their programs in line with what they make from being the propaganda mouth piece of British culture. 
Of course, comments and feedback gladly welcome

No comments:

Post a Comment