BBC Licence Fee

Treachery, thy name is Edmonds. After decades in which his hairy chops have been clamped about the hind teat of the BBC, Noel Edmonds has announced that he will not pay the licence fee, and I can imagine that some people will declare him a hero.Never mind that he has spent much of his adult life wallowing in the golden Pactolus of BBC light entertainment; no matter that all his grand homes were funded with the proceeds of characters such as Mr Blobby, which the BBC paid him to inflict upon the nation.

In spite of his rank ingratitude, I know that many people will spring to his defence. There will be those who think the BBC is bloated with 20,000 taxpayer-funded journalists, intrinsically likely to take a Left-liberal view of the world, and they will lift a glass to the former laird of Crinkley Bottom.

There will be many who agree with his fundamental point, that the Beeb has become bullying and intemperate in its demands for the licence fee – persecuting innocent householders with demands for £139.50, threatening to distrain their goods and send them to prison when they have never even owned a television.

To everyone who resents this state tax, when the BBC can no longer supply such basic programming as Test match cricket or rugby, Edmonds will be classed as a martyr, a Gandhi, a landmark exponent of civil disobedience.

But not to me, amigos. I think Edmonds is quite wrong, and I speak with all the vehemence of one who spent last Friday evening in a state of ecstatic rapture at the Proms. Take away the licence fee and you take away the Beeb’s ability to spend £6 million on the world’s greatest festival of classical music.

Get rid of the licence fee and you lose the vast red velvet drapes in the Albert Hall saying BBC Proms; and without the BBC Proms there would have been no frenzied Italian conductor, his spasms barely contained by the polished brass of the stand. There would have been no white-jacketed trombonists, no bare-armed female violinists.

There would have been no choir, their silvery hair like magnesium balls of fire in the TV lights, belting out Beethoven’s Ninth, the Ode to Joy, with so much crumping explosive power that it made my neck tingle.

The more I rhapsodise, of course, and the more I expand on my love of the BBC Proms, the louder I can imagine the protests.

But why do we have to pay for this, I hear you say. Why can’t it be funded by Coca-Cola, or Sky, or private subscription of some kind? To which I can only say that yes, I suppose it might be so funded. But then again it might not be. Civilisations can decline. Culture decays. The market is an imperfect preserver of heritage.

There are many moments in history when human beings have lost the understanding of some great art form, and in some cases lost it for centuries.

I want our children, my children, to know and appreciate the Ode to Joy not because it has been admired by every eccentric and demagogue from Hitler to Ian Smith (who made it the national anthem of Rhodesia) to the authors of the Lisbon Treaty on European Union.

I want children to hear it because it is – or so I assert – one of the greatest masterpieces produced in the last two centuries, a beautiful if slightly bonkers poem that gives rise to an even more beautiful melody.

Schiller’s poem is all about Joy, the lovely god-sparked daughter of paradise helping men to become brothers – obviously a good idea, on paper – and with the help of Beethoven these words are elevated into a vast, sublime manifesto for mankind.

The music lifts the poem, the poem infuses the music, and I have to admit I realised for the first time last Friday evening what proper music folk must long since have understood, that there is a complete coincidence of poetic stress and musical beat – so Beethoven must have had those words shooshing around inside his wavy-haired head before he hit on the tune.

The poem actually made the melody, I concluded, and I wished I had been taught more about it at school.

Indeed, I wished there were more music in schools generally, and that our children were taught the heart-breaking story of the Ninth Symphony, how after the first performance the composer was so deaf that he had to be turned by a violinist to face the cheers of the audience.

You can only appreciate that story if you understand the genius of Beethoven, and that means being exposed to him. That is what the Beeb is for. That is the purpose of public service broadcasting.

The BBC Proms laid on the Ninth Symphony last year to huge acclaim. They performed it again this year, and for all I care they can play it again next year.

But I accept that they can’t fill the air with nothing but classical music, and ask everyone in the country to pay for it, when there are probably quite a few people in Britain who think Beethoven was a cuddly dog in a film by Walt Disney studios.

We can’t ask the whole nation to pay for Beethoven, when some licence-fee payers really don’t give a toss about classical music. That is why the BBC has to reach out to the whole nation.

That is why it has to chase ratings and pay for Noel Edmonds and his gang. Mr Blobby, the Tweenies, Iggle Piggle, the Teletubbies: these are the essential sherpas who keep Beethoven on his summit; and by the same token, the BBC could not justify the buying and showing of a load of light entertainment that could be equally well produced by the private sector: hence the Proms, and Radio Three, and the World Service.

That is the essential symmetry. That is the best defence of the licence fee we can muster, and I think it is pretty good. Mr Blobby and Beethoven are yokemates of broadcasting destiny.

As he sits on his millions Noel Edmonds should also reflect that Mr Blobby could never have been created, and the BBC could never have paid for it, had the corporation not also invested in Ludwig van Beethoven.

[Ed: This article was first published in the Daily Telegraph on 16 September, 2008 under the heading, ‘Noel Edmonds is wrong to say get rid of BBC licence fee: remove it and you lose the Proms’]

117 thoughts on “BBC Licence Fee”

  1. Noel Edmonds believes that he is followed by two glowing balls of light, who are probably his dead parents. He also believes in the cosmic Ordering Service, whereby if you place a wish to the universe, it is invariably granted. He credits his t.v. comeback to this service, but I don’t believe it, because why is he not now 6 inches taller? And you expect sense from this man?

    The BBC are bullying when chasing up payment of the t.v. licence – I received a horrible letter and I pay by direct debit. However, when I complained vociferously, they sent me a charming apology. There are things on the BBC I still love, including the Proms, and he has made absolutely megabucks from them, so it is mean not to pay and even meaner to encourage others not to pay.

  2. Yes Boris he is a hero.

    Tonights schedule on BBC 1:

    7:00 pm The One Show
    7:30 pm EastEnders
    8:00 pm Holby City
    9:00 pm Mutual Friends
    10:00 pm BBC News at Ten
    10:25 pm BBC London News

    Even the news seems more like an entertainment prog these days with loud music, glitzy production and fashionable stories. Radio 4 is better. Don’t get me started on the awful childrens progs. Bring back ‘Watch With Mother’. But there is a BBC radio 7 for children. Details should be available on the main website.

    There are some good things, obviously, like QT. But radio seems to be the main reason for the licence fee IMHO.

  3. There are some really good programmes on BBC4 though. There was such an interesting one last night about Hollywood and politics. There was also a good one about all the most effective US Presidents, FDR (Boris is like FDR), Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Nixon, it was rivetting stuff, because I love hearing about all that.

    Last night there was a programme on BBC4 about that MP nobody ever hears of now, what is his name, P… something, he has got big lips and longish brown hair. He had invited a group of US political pundits to discuss the US election and compare it to the last WEST WING series, when Matt Santos, a Latino candidate won. Every time this MP chap said anything, they all contradicted and said shut up, it was funny.

    There was also a brilliant programme, can’t remember the name, whereby four smart alecs make jokes about topical subjects in a quiz, but since the blond chairman chap doesn’t appear anymore, it has gone right downhill and isn’t funny anymore.

  4. I actually think Boris makes a good point here. I’ve long thought there’s too much rubbish on BBC TV, which can be provided by commercial broadcasters. But as Boris says, if the BBC didn’t cater for the masses, how could it justify making them pay the licence fee? So if it means keeping the licence fee, I guess we need all the reality TV and dumbed-down BBC1 news. The licence fee is still good value for the Proms, the likes of David Attenborough’s programmes, the BBC News website and BBC Radio.

    What does need sorting out is TV Licensing enforcement. The way they harass people without a TV is unacceptable. However, I don’t know what Edmonds is talking about. Presumably he has a TV, and he’s now admitting to breaking the law. They should prosecute him rather than falsely accuse thousands of innocent people of committing a crime.

  5. I got the impression Edmonds was making a stand about the aggresive threats broadcast about the licence fee. In that respect I agree with him – some people really don’t have TV’s. And you don’t have to pay the licence fee to listen to radio. Whether one should is a different debate.

  6. Sorry, Boris. For once I am at odds with your sparkling prose. Forget Mr Blobby and the Proms; what should get your wild up is al-Beeb’s new role as the state sponsored arm of the Polly Toynbee Appreciation Society.

    I do not hear people calling for more Blobbies and Proms. But they are, in their millions, begging for a new Golden Age of public broadcasting to replace the mush served up today.

    Where are the Fawlty Towers, the Del Boys, the Ronnies, Alf Garnetts and Norman Stanley Fletchers, the Ripping Yarns and Steptoes? We know they will never return to our screens as long as the BBC’s entire output is determined by the tick-boxes of PC-obsessed lefties.

    It’s now down to broadcasters like Channel 4 to give us the hard-edged programming that makes TV worth watching. Can you imagine al-Beeb commissioning The Great Global Warming Swindle or Undercover Mosque, let alone the Martin White documentary exposing Ken Livingstone as a “disgrace to his office”, which didn’t do you any harm?

    Their comedy has lost its edge under pressure to be “safe”. But have you noticed how “safe” includes swearing and Christian blasphemy but never a line that might offend some touchy minority?

    I am a huge fan of the BBC in principle as a public service broadcaster; watch American TV to see how dire the medium can be when entirely reliant on advertising. But it does become increasingly hard to defend the compulsory payment of a licence fee simply to own an electrical appliance, especially when the great majority of channels do not benefit from that revenue.

    Let’s keep the Beeb – if only for Radio 4. Better still, give us some decent programmes.

    PS: Agreed, Beethoven was the greatest. And Ode to Joy is too good a tune to be hijacked as the European anthem.

  7. Well, at least they’re bringing FORMULA1 back to the BBC next season, so that’s at least a step towards making coughing up the license fee worthwhile again… being able to watch the World’s #1 motor racing championship without the sodding adverts coming up just as something good happens.

    Then of course there’s TOP GEAR, with the stunts performed by Clarkson, Hamster & May…….. and surely the only TV program these days that isn’t a load of cack.

    And we musn’t forget past achievements that, unlike most the stuff the bearded shortarse ever presented, have gone down in history as some of the best shows ever (and more like these, less cack reality shows, pretty please?)………….. Two Fat Ladies, Local Heroes (with Adam Hart-Davis), Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, One foot in the Grave, Have I got News for you, Allo Allo, Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia, Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Scotland, Billy Connolly’s World tour of Ireland / Wales / England, Keeping up Appearances, Open All Hours, Porridge, Dad’s Army, Some mothers do ‘ave ’em, Tomorrow’s World, The Sky at Night with Sir Patrick Moore, Steptoe & Son, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, Only Fools & Horses, Rab C. Nesbitt, Men Behaving Badly, Last of the Summer Wine, The Fred Dibnah store (and related shows), Floyd on Italy, Jeremy Clarkson’s Motorworld, Jeremy Clarkson’s Extreme Machines + A passion for Angling.
    And I suppose also “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” + the dramas based on the “Narnia” stories (late 80’s / early 90’s?)

    And also brought great foreign imports to terrestrial screens, such as: The Simpsons, Star Trek (Original Series through to DS9), The X-Files, Seinfeld,

  8. I used to adore Timmy Mallett, wasn’t his show on BBC1? You know the comedian who put the word wacka in front of everything, as in WackaRedSquarski. It was such goofy innocent humour, can they show these shows again as repeats please?

  9. The BBC would argue that they have to cater for a majority audience, and when you think that the most popular programme is often EastEnders with a regular viewing figure of over 9 million, that says it all.

  10. The most popular show on BBC1 is “New Tricks” a crime drama starring Amanda Redman. Second is EasterEnders. Third is Who Do You Think You are?, fourth, the Ten O’Clock News, fifth was the Olympics, sixth was SKy Cops, (no idea what that is) seventh, Last Choir, eighth Britain Above, ninth was Trawlermen and tenth Inspector Lynley. That was for week ending August 24th. I haven’t even heard of the last five of those.

  11. Noel Edmonds has some nerve. He has inflicted his tripey programmes on us for which he has been paid millions…. DEAL OR NO DEAL…. please! Now he has the termerity to encourage the general public not to pay their licence fees. Everyone owed money bullies to get it paid these days, not just the BBC, get over it Noel!

  12. There is no TV licence in USA. In Japan, it’s voluntary ( they have one state owned BBC-like channel, the rest are independent ) and every month, someone cycles around their neighbourhood, knock on their door and ask them if they want to donate money to the state owned TV station or not. If not, he will be on his bike !

    BBC is so old fashioned and out of date that it’s embarrassing to see a few people still want to cling onto something so unlogical just because it’s English or Englishness !!!

    If BBC had not paid Jonathan Ross that comical £18M/ 3 year contract, ITV would have paid him much less as he would have no where else to go to. The USA owned Camelot Lottery would have to paid ITV loads of money to do screen their shows every week. Celebrities would have to lower their fees as they had no where else to go to. That’s logic, Boris !

    BBC use tax payer’s money to fund their services that natives have to pay to watch but are free to people in other countries via internet and satellite.

  13. What chance does this country have for a cultural future when even the Proms is attacked “because it does not enhance a sense of shared identity.” The person who said this praised Coronation Street as an icon of common culture, but criticised the Proms for not being that.Gordon quickly came to support of the Proms and was annoyed these words had not been cleared with his office

    Who spoke these words? Only the Labour Culture Secretary, Margaret Hodge! Do they appoint these idiots because of their high level of idiocy? Her exact words were as follows:

    She said: “The audiences for many of our greatest cultural events – I’m thinking in particular of the Proms – is still a long way from demonstrating that people from different backgrounds feel at ease in being part of this.

    “I know this is not about making every audience completely representative, but if we claim great things for our sectors in terms of their power to bring people together, then we have a right to expect they will do that wherever they can.”


  14. You only have the governments ( Con and Lab ) and local councils to blame for this. Why aren’t people, shops, buildings allowed to raise English or Union flags outside their property?

    In USA, American flags is a common sight. Foreign people in USA and Australia are proud to be an American or Australian citizen.

    Over here, if you yourself are not allowed to be proud of UK, how can you expect foreigners living in this country to be proud to be a British ?

  15. I don’t see them as foreigners. If people are permanent residents, to me they are British, and that’s it. We should just wave flags. During the Rugby World Cup I hung a huge flag from my window and also during the London mayor’s election, with a huge pic. of Boris Johnson.

    Stacy, if we are proud of this country, how can they stop us? The lady who criticised the Proms is a disastrous choice for Culture Secretary, true culture is libertarian and embraces everything. Don’t let them stop you, just wave flags and feel proud.

  16. The Culture Secretary criticised the Proms in favour of Coronation Street? That job is not to patronise us with pathetic politically correct a… hole opinions, it is to perpetrate our culture! I am appalled!

  17. As Boris says, it isn’t just ratings, and if better things are provided, they do spark off something with the general public. Opera is far more accepted now, and not regarded as a silly upper class thing. Beauty has its own power and anyone can feel that. Craving beauty is a human need.

  18. Whilst I agree with Boris’ essential point about the goodness that is the Beeb (radio 4 comedy being my main vice) – I do also have to agree with Edmonds’ essential argument that the tone taken is totally wrong.

    ‘Give us your money, we know where you live’ is the phrase of a mafioso, not auntie beeb.

    I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with an argument made by a man responsible for Mr. Blobby.

    I do think the Beeb has lost the plot a little with regard to public service. We used to get some nice solid documentaries regularly, they still happen (e.g. the pedigree dog thing recently), but all too often a documentary is a thinly disguised drama with re-enactments and dinosaurs.

    … and we don’t really have a modern ‘Johnny Ball’ figure, an enthusiastic generalist who likes science and doesn’t make a point of saying how difficult it all is (yes, I’m looking at you ‘Today’…. and ‘In our time’ is guilty too…)

    There are a few people who are used for science though – but that guy who used to be in a band who gets wheeled out whenever they need a funky physicist is awful!

  19. Even very popular talent shows feature opera now. True afficionadoes may sneer at the likes of Paul Potts and Il Divo, who sing opera, but they are introducing incredible music to people who may not have heard it before and it may give them a thirst for other recordings. I have noticed that shows like X Factor are concentrating on better quality singers now. Leona Lewis is very well trained and studied as a singer for years, and she has a good voice and a fantastic range.

  20. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m very proud of being British. I’m very proud of holding a British passport ( But sometimes I wish when the terrorists looked at my British passport, they would kidnap me as a prized hostage like they usually do Americans or Jews- even when they are only naturalized Americans or Jews- instead of just ignoring me … joke, sorry ).

    But, let’s face it. When you are not allowed to display some Pig figurines on your front sitting room’s windowsill because the local cops told you that your Muslim neighbours have complained. When the government have quietly inserted Sharia law into British law. When the local councils ban any street decorations with the word “Christmas” in favour of “Season’s Greetings” …

    What is the name of this country? Where is your identity? Who does this country belong to? Let Boris do something about it first in HIS London. He has the power.

  21. Oh oh Stacey, don’t joke about being kidnapped!

    Is tht really true about your pig figurines? But surely they have no right to object? i would say to the police very nicely and politely, I am so sorry, i totally respect my neighbours’ right to place anything they wish on their window sills, but they should equally respect my rights. it is not my intention to offend, and these figurines have no offensive connotation whatsoever; if my neighbours choose to interpret them offensively just suggest they don’t look into your window. That is your private property!

    If anyone objected, I am pretty sure, they do not have the legal right to do that.

  22. Jaq I read those comments on the Iain Dale link and some of them are a daft – you can find a better level of discussion here on Boris’s website.

    One guy said Boris knew nothing about business and suggested how they could make money out of the Proms by taking it away from the BBC. Maybe I am just stupid, but I have always believed that not everything in life was about money. In fact the things we should most cherish, protect and fight for are nothing to do with money whatsoever.

    The only thing that makes me happy about the banking crisis is, the crisis was obviously caused by greedy banks and all they cared about was fat commissions. They didn’t care whether the investments they were pursuing were good ones, they just wanted their fat commissions and there was nobody to say them nay. They did’t care if they ripped off the public to the nth degree and instead of being responsible bankers, they are like bookmakers. Gamblers. Now maybe someone will do something about this and start to curtail them.

    Maybe there have to be financial crashes for people to realise what matters, because if you lose things, you do find out what is worthwhile and what truly matters in life.

    ps. as for the lady above who is being told what to put on their window sill, there is no way I would give in to that, and I would tell the police I was not going to remove them, in the nicest way I possibly could.

  23. Angela – Iain Dale hosts one of the most infuential political blogs and I thought the link important and useful. I’m sorry the comments weren’t to your liking but you can find stupid comments on any blog. I thought there were some interesting points made and very witty ones, I particularly liked the Dita Von Tees analogy. Very funny. And it’s always good to read Newmania’s comments. Sadly he no longer comments here, I wonder why? Where are Idlex, Vicus Scurra and Raincoaster, Jack and Jack? And of course Mac. I always miss Mac. I’m sure he would write a poem about the Beeb. RIP Mac xx

    Melissa – I hope you save the archives. It would be fun if Boris published a book about his blog as other journalists have done, including comments from contributors.

  24. “Civilisations can decline. Culture decays. The market is an imperfect preserver of heritage.”

    But the BBC seems to be terribly agenderised and anti-British. Would Nu Lab – the slayers of British culture – have won three terms of office without aunty ?

    There is a lot to be said for paring the corporation back to basic channels and programming and kicking out the lefties. I’d glady forsake the Proms to see that happen.

  25. Noel Edmonds will never be a hero, and he is barking up the wrong tree. The BBC is brilliant at some of what it does, but so is Sky, so is Channel 4. What I fail to understand is why I have to pay a fee to the BBC for the pleasure of watching Channel 4. It’s like having to pay a fee to Tesco for the right to shop in Asda.
    Let the people who want to watch/listen to BBC pay for it. Pay-as-you-like TV has to be possible in this digital age. Give fee payers a code to enter and they can watch BBC to their heart’s content.
    I also believe that the people who make their £millions via TV, the ‘Stars’ who would not have fame and fortune without it, they should pay a bit back to the hand that fed them.

  26. Jaq, normally Iain Dale is very good, it was those that I found a bit daft, hope I haven’t hurt your feelings?

  27. Jaq what a good idea! We could be immortalised as Boris’s scribes and gate keepers, I love it! I wonder if I am his Muse and his whole political life is based on justifying my faith in him….. I WISH!!!!! FAT CHANCE BUT WE CAN DREAM!

    It is ok. to complain when companies are aggressive in chasing up money and I certainly do that when they bully me in error, but as for actually refusing to pay when you are a public figure, isn’t this a bit dicey? Loads of people could take what Noel Edmonds said as an excuse NOT to pay, and keep on refusing, so there could be an awkward situation.

    pps. Do you want your comments about Boris in the buff to be printed from an archive? I am just saying.

  28. I put some of my very best jokes in the comments I was doing to support Boris during the Mayors election at Times Online. In case these do not make any printing of the archives, I will repeat a few. When thinking of a title for Ken’s autobiography, I came up with P….. AS A NEWT.


    I do not want these jokes to sink into obscurity, because I laugh at them endlessly on my own, even if no-one else does. ps. I was only joking about your remarks about Boris in the buff.

  29. Noel Edmonds is not a hero for refusing to pay his licence fee after all the money he has made from the BBC. He is the last person who should refuse to pay.

  30. Boris raises the question of the salary paid to Jonathan Ross. I no longer find Jonathan funny, he is just smutty. It does not take much brain to make crude remarks, any yob on any street corner can do it. He asked Nicole Kidman if the hair on her head matches her hair elsewhere.

    He also was crude about Mrs. Thatcher to David Cameron, who did not lose his cool. The cardinal crime is not that he made off colour jokes, but that the jokes were just not funny.

  31. “The river Pactolus has become famous because it carries gold dust. The Lydian kings, whose capital Sardes was close to this river, were the first to strike coins. We still have the proverb “as rich as Croesus”, the famous last king of Lydia (c.560-c.547).”

    Boris refers to Pactolus, and I did not know what it meant so I found the above explanation for everyone.

  32. I believe that the licence fee is outdated and the BBC should try to raise money elsewhere. I understand that that BBC needs to be funded to continue to make great programmes, including the BBC Proms and Doctor Who.

    But Noel Edmonds is being a hypocrite to say he will not pay the licence fee. He made millions from the BBC and his warped sense of (or lack of) humour. Now he is another channel and thinks he can break the law, and betray his former money machine. He did very well out of the BBC and his non-payment the licence fee is just a stupid attention-seeking stunt. Maybe his career is coming to an end and he needs the publicity? I have not seen him in anything lately (thankfully), and with all the money he made, it would be easy for him to retire. And he can still afford to pay the TV licence fee, but he can also pay the fines for not paying it.

    BTW, Boris, when are you going to appear next on Have I Got News For You? That is also a great BBC programme that I never miss.

  33. Hi Jaq

    Mac was wonderful I totally agree.

    If he published the blog you would feature substantially I am sure

  34. I totally agree with Boris. How dare Gnome Edmonds bite the hand that has kept him in a level of luxury he could only dream about when he was but a two bit disc jockey of all things. Not exactly the height of culture . The Proms is a great institution. If it has to depend on the likes of Gnome Edmonds and his inane programmes for finance it is a very sad situation.
    Most of the happy band of BBC television presenters are well past
    their sell-by date and cannot, in all reason, possibly be worth the millions they are paid. Just how long are we to put up with the third rate programmes with Gnome Edmonds or the overpaid crude lout with the challenged diction together and the other overstuffed boring so-called celebrity presenters. There is an abundance of new young talent -why does not the BBC use it and move along?



  35. Stacy says “There is no TV licence in USA,” but she’s mistaken. It’s there– it just comes in another form: taxes. They go to pay for National Public Radio and PBS TV stations. As an American Conservative, I used to whine and moan about the whole thing, but Boris’s piece here has made me think.

    As he says, “Civilisations can decline. Culture decays. The market is an imperfect preserver of heritage.”

    I shudder to think of “Mozart Hour, brought to you by Coca-Cola” with huge “Drink Coke!” signs emblazoned on the Tubas… Conductors baton becomes a straw as he turns and winks at the camera before plunking said straw into his cool refreshing cola beverage in the opening credits and…

    Oh, make up your own corporate-sponsored disaster…

  36. I lived for 5 years without a TV set. It was wonderful apart from the many, many bulling letters that I received from the licencing people. (Not the BBC!) I was threatened with fines and jail. I contacted them many times informing them that I did not have a television, but I was accused of lying.

    I had visits to my home while I was at work, and my property was damaged. They had to climb into my flowerbeds to look through my windows, and they killed plants, trampled bushes and broke flower urns in their pursuit of my “crime” of not watching television.

    I finally got a visit from a very rude woman who, when upon opening my front door to her, thrust an ID (i think) card in my face (far too close to actually read it) and she demanded entry to my home, or she would go to court and get a warrent to enter, which would also include one for my arrest for non payment of the licence.

    Tempting as it was to let her go to court, so I could sue for wrongful arrest, I allowed her to enter my home. She looked into one room and exclaimed that I “did not have a television set”. I did ask her if she wanted to look over the whole house, and even look under the beds incase I had one hidden there, but she left satisfied that I did not have a television set. She was still rude and aggressive towards me as she was leaving. I was informed that they would “believe me” that I did not have a televison set, and would not contact me for the next five years, when they would review the situation. I even received a letter to that effect. How nice of them!

    I got the next threating letter within 2 months. I sent them a copy of the letter they had sent me confirming that I did not have a television and they finally left me alone.

    I think the licencing people are disgusting in how they treat you as a criminal, and their use of heavy handed tactics. It is not the fault of the BBC, they do not sent these ignorant fools out to harrass us. It is the government, who are just collecting yet another tax. The BBC may recieve the money (eventually) and some of it is wisely spent, and I would not like to loose the quality programming of the BBC ~ or get adverts either. (Have you tried to watch Poirot? 8 minutes of programme followed by 9 minutes of adverts!) If the BBC would like to save some money, we could always get rid of Eastenders (or move it to a much later spot, more in tune with the violence that is shown on it) and most of those dreadful “talent” shows that are shown on Saturday evening!

  37. There’s a lot of covert racism in liberal BBC programming these days, mostly anti-semitism, anglophobia and of course islamophobia. These subtle persuasions seem to be played off against eachother, perhaps in an ironic attempt to shift blame from the current governments policies. We have noticed this more since Michael Lyons took over.

    Having said that, the bulk of the world’s great programmes have been made (and still are made) by the BBC, in my opinion, and I consider the license fee money well spent.

  38. Jonathan Ross is certainly very well paid and I don’t find him very funny either.

    Some things are best left uncommercialised and the Proms is definitely one of them.

  39. In USA you don’t need a licence to watch independent tv stations via a satellite.

    Ros, if you don’t believe me, please google:

    the times nancy bennett 49 who faces

    then you will see lots of sites talking about this infamous incident. The Times and other papers reported this story actually.

  40. Stacy that is appalling. How can people get away with objecting about something on private property? I would be absolutely furious.

  41. Jaq, I didn’t know that publishers were interested in publishing peoples’ blogs. Interesting idea. I suppose they are social records, of a type.

  42. Jaq I am desperately worrying now I have hurt your feelings. I would not wish to do that, I just rattle on making stupid jokes, but the intention is never ever to offend anyone and if I have I am totally sorry. I am just a load of hot air.

  43. I thought there was legislation preventing financial institutions for hassling people for money they owed. Still, maybe what the BBC does is not as bad as that.

    However, financial regulation seems in dire need of reform and I cannot understand why the government have not tackled this sooner.

  44. It’s a shame Jonathan Ross exists, have you noticed that when his series ends all the decent TV comes back?

    It’s like a liberal mafia inflicting the world with Jonathan Ross et al to the exclusion of the great programmes and beneficial educational television.

  45. When Tony Blair was PM he was too busy prancing around to George Bush’s tune. Gordon Brown has been PM for a year and a bit and all he has done is pinch ideas from David Cameron and dither.

  46. I just feel sorry for Jonathan Ross’s poor wife, because some of his jokes about his private life are just too much information.

    Also, I don’t like how he calls his singers Four P….s and a Piano and I don’t know how they put up with it.

  47. How did Beethoven’s music ever managed to survive before the heroic BBC came along to rescue it from oblivion?

  48. Tomorrow I will re-type here the un-believably rude, threatening and arrogant letter the BBC sent me demanding me to buy a TV licence.

    I know these letters are written by a money chasing company who works on behalf of the BBC. But these STANDARD letters must have been read and checked and agreed by the BBC.

    The BBC should start making their own money like other independent TV companies and axe the silly TV licence.

    Oh, I have just seen the cover of ” Total Politics ” magazine, Sept 08, Issue 3 in WHS. Boris is on the cover, looking rugged and so handsome as ever. The magazine title caption is: ” Because knowledge is Power “. Wow wow !

    Also, on the cover: ” Why are female MPs so dowdy ? “. I rest my case.

  49. TOTAL POLITICS is a good read and it looks great, glossy and glam. The article with Boris is very good and I also liked the fashion article about the dowdy clothes of women MPs.
    Still, maybe we should be glad that we have such a nice person as Sarah Brown married to Gordon. If we had a temptress like Carla Bruni, crooning her suggestive lyrics about l’amour and sparing nothing in her racey description of her private life, how would poor Gordon deal with that, as well as his current difficulties? The last thing he needs at the moment is a mangeuse d’hommes adding to his troubles.

    David Cameron could deal with the little minx no trouble I am sure (impossible to imagine any woman succeeding in giving him the runaround) and I am sure Boris Johnson can spot female trouble a mile off, but poor Gordon would be totally out of his depth. As Russell Brand would say, if you get involved with Carla, and you are a masochist, it’s Disneyland!

  50. Some of the BBC output is exceptional. Some is $%!* but there isn’t a single commercial or paid for channel that is any better. I think the BBC should abandon chasing ratings and for my £3 a week roughly produce 3 hours of programmes that I really want to watch and aim for that amount for every licence payer. We should set new metrics. The BBC will have 50 million unique viewers per week who watch 30 minutes or more programming. Any program that does not result in at least ten complaints of bias or ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ type comments should be scrapped. Any non sports or news programme that regularly has an audience share of over 20% should be sold to a commercial channel. Commercial channels have to aim to appeal to all the people all of the time. I want the BBC to appeal to all of the people but not all at the same time. That should result in programmes that are challenging, different, though-provoking, risky and with depth. An leave the politicians and consultants away from the BBC website. It is a national treasure, it is of the highest quality and is a tremendous USP for Britain.

  51. The BBC already have a sure fire ratings winner in their hands, but they are so far too blind to turn it into the smash it would become. This is compulsive viewing. All it needs is some drastric pruning and imaginative editing to become a hit, but so far, they haven’t twigged. The theme?

    Blond hero fights for the freedom and welfare of the city, battling an evil villain, and the supporters of the previous bad sheriff, who outacted Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the Kevin Costner movie in the way he hammed it up. The bad sheriff has been deposed so no longer appears (use flashbacks, BBC, get over it). Watch it to spot who the villain is.

    Even bad boy blogger Adam of the leftie website Tory Troll agrees what an exciting show this is, his link is: The show is already a cult hit.

  52. I don’t know which Labour MP is was, because I was genuflecting and shutting my eyes, but one of them is still insisting that the Tory lead is “soft”. The mood enhancers are obviously doing their job, because nobody in their right mind agrees with this. The Tories are on a lead of 54 points. The country is on its knees in a body begging David Cameron to take over.

  53. If President Sarkozy manages to sit through the whole of one of Carla Bruni’s songs, he deserves the Legion D’Honneure. Can you imagine the future books devoted to this relationship?

    It is like a modern day Napoleon and Josephine, then again, look how they ended up. When Napoleon discovered Josephine had been unfaithful, he immediately took a young mistress, whom he dressed up in military uniform and paraded before his troops. Not that I am suggesting that Carla would ever be anything but a devoted wife, and her dress sense is impeccable.

  54. Napoleon took a young mistress to pique Josephine and then dressed her up in uniform and paraded her before his troops! Crikey! And I thought my ex.treated me badly by firting online!

  55. I am stunned that people regard the Sarkozy/Bruni relationship as a problem. Problems, problems, we should all have such problems.

  56. I am Chinese/British and I love the proms. I had a fairly working class upbringing, but I do like to dip my toe into high-culture. The way to make people appreciate this nation’s culture is not to dumb it down to appeal to all minorities; it is to protect it, nurture it and promote it until the masses understand how important it is.

    As for flag flying, there have been increased calls for all public buildings and schools to fly the flag and as a ‘minority’ myself I agree. The best way to increase cohesion is to remind people of where they are. People choose to come to Britain, let’s not be afraid of this country’s great history.

    I am British, I went to a Christian school and joined the Scouts. I carried the Union flag proudly on remembrance day, as well as collecting poppies. Being ‘offended’ didn’t even enter my parents head. They are from Hong Kong, and don’t have a religion/agenda to push, they love Britain, because it is Britain!

    I am sick of British people apologising for the past and appeasing anyone today with a loud mouth. Rule Britannia!

  57. What a great post above from Brian Wong. Please write more here, Brian, we love your take on things.

    Margaret Hodge, I just do not understand your reasoning. How could anyone, whatever nationality they are, object to the Proms? Leave us our Proms, please!

  58. There is definitely some legislation that bans companies from harrassing people who owe them money. People should not have to put up with such unpleasantness and should have some sort of complaints procedure to follow if they are bullied.

  59. Brian, you must be so proud of film director Ang Lee, who is from Taiwan. Two of his films are among my favourite films of all time, Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He is such a sensitive director. The only film of his I did not much like was The Hulk, he is not really the right sort of director for that subject, although he made a brave attempt.

    In the closing ceremony of the Paralympics, the part with the dancers and red falling leaves was reminiscent of Ang Lee. Boris Johnson’s description of China made me long to see such a beautiful country.

  60. Oh, no ! Have you heard Carla Bruni sing ” Je ne t’aime plus ” ? Ace !!! Some other songs of hers are boring, though.

    But now she is a president’s wife and she still makes music and sell her own CDs it looks funny, as some people said she uses her husband’s name to plug her own CDs !

    I forgot to bring that threatening letter from the BBC Licencing THUGS with me here. Tomorrow OK.

  61. What is this Brokeback Moutain you are talking about?

    You mean those photos? I clicked IMAGES above Google and asked for: PUTIN AND ALBERT HOLIDAY PICS and I saw loads of pics and they say that is Brokeback Mountain.

    I googled PUTIN AND ALBERT HOLIDAY PICS and all the sites said the same: That’s is Brokeback Mountain.

  62. Stacey I agree. It is good she works. It does look like she is using her position to sell records. However, in France, they are laid back about a lot of things, so that is the place to get away with it. Sarkozy might like having an unconventional wife. Can you imagine here though, if Sarah Brown was strumming away and crooning “You are my heroin” about Gordon! The French are good in that they don’t pry into peoples’s private lives as much as happens over here. My French friend says Sarkozy likes the publicity though!

  63. Apparently Noel Edmonds has a TV licence after all. At least, that is what the BBC say, but he still says he doesn’t!

  64. What was Golden Pactolus applauding, the anecdote about Napoleon or Angela’s previous remark? Pactolus… that is the word that Boris used in his article, so who, may we ask, is this Golden Pactolus? Intriguing.

  65. It’s funny how these very short men seem to adore publicity…. Napoleon, Sarkozy…… Noel Edmonds.

  66. Timmy Mallett was on Andrew Neill’s show last night.

    The panel seemed to agree that Gordon Brown, although not totally responsible for the present financial doom and gloom, is partially responsible and is unlikely to make it to the next election. If Harriet Harman takes over, I will leave the country.

    Here is a suggestion…. Boris for President of the US as he has US citizenship and David Cameron as Prime Minister and together they can sort us out.

  67. Timmy Mallett was so funny, he calls his cereal Credit Crunch, well I laughed. His tips for surviving the crunch include we must remember the best things in life are free. Appreciate our friends. Have fun going downhill on a bike. Enjoy the different seasons. Do someone a good turn.

    Now Labour really have to face the harshest of harsh truths.

    Gordon has less ideas for surviving the credit crunch than Timmy Mallett.

  68. This is the threatening letter the BBC TV Licencing THUGS sent me. Please note names * and genders * have been changed to confuse the BBC Licencing THUGS :

    TV Licensing

    Dear Mr.Boris Johnson,

    Some time ago, we were advised that no TV receiving equipment was being used to receive TV programmes at this address, and therefore no TV licence was required.

    Our standard practice is to now visit your address to confirm that no type of television receiver is being used there to watch or record TV programmes as they’re being shown on TV. This includes the use of a TV set, digital box, DVD or video recorder, computer or mobile phone. Our visit should take no longer than a few minutes.

    If you are still not using TV receiving equipment at this address, you needn’t take any action. Just expect a visit from us soon.

    If you are not the individual named above, please don’t ignore this letter. This address still requires a licence if you are using a TV.


    If your situation has changed and you now use television, it is important that you buy a TV Licence straight away. Even if you only watch or record satellite TV which is broadcast from outside the UK, the law still requires you to have a licence. Watching or recording TV programmes without a valid licence is an offence for which you could be prosecuted and fined up to £1.000.


    If you have recently moved home, or are about to move, please let us know. You may have a TV Licence for your old address, which needs to be transferred to your new one to ensure you are licensed to use TV there. Please visit or call 0844 800 6774

    Yours sincerely,
    Michelle Tunstall
    TV Licensing Enforcement Manager
    So, according to the BBC Licensing THUGS:

    We need to buy a BBC TV Licence to: watch Dutch hard core porno films broadcast from Holland on satellite, or even to watch your collection of DVDs and videos ?

  69. Angela – don’t fret, I’ve just been in hospital is all. Short reply; must recover 🙂

    [Ed: 🙁 Get better soon! Glad to see you online. At least the sun has come out to welcome you home.]

  70. Jaq TAKE CARE! I am so glad to her from you. I do hope you make a speedy recovery, cuddle up with a nice hot cup of tea and a book by Boris Johnson; apart from his revised biography which is bound to bring a smile to your face, I recommend HAVE I GOT VIEWS FOR YOU (you have probably read them both already). xx

  71. Funny article in the Mail today whereby the teachers of several celebrities tell what they were like at school.

    Although David Cameron was bright and enthusiastic, he apparently kept a low profile. Great picture of him as a youngster.

    Jude Law was conceited and argued a lot.

    Simon Cowell was a skinny, spotty youth with a tongue like a razor, even at that young age.

    David Miliband didn’t get very good A Levels! He was lippy (NO!), tenacious and very Left Wing.

    Boris was a scholar as Eton (extra clever) so he had to wear a white surplus, the mind boggles. He had the mop of white blond hair and looked scruffy bless him, but was entertaining and full of joie de vivre.


  72. Mmmm…. Boris Johnson as a small boy. I bet he tied his shoe laces to those of his friend so they both fell over, wound his sister’s plaits round the bike railings and put live frogs down girls’ knickers. Since his family brought him up nicely, maybe not, but I bet he wanted to.

  73. On the Jonathan Ross show last night…. caught it in error. A huge picture of a naked Gordon Brown having a threeway with a naked Harriet Harman and I think the other lucky lady was Hazel Blears nearly falling off the bed.

    For this we pay the licence fee?

  74. Good for Noel Edmonds in taking on the BBC licence fee bullying thugs. The King of Crinkley Bottom is leading a boycott to protest at the thuggish way the BBC collects its tax.

    Here are some facts about TV Licensing, who send out those threatening letters:

    – It is NOT an ” authority “. It is an admin offshoot of the BBC.

    – No BBc snoop can invade your house or take statements from you under caution without a court warrant.

    – And when it says ” authorisation has been granted ” for your home to be raided, authorised by whom?

    Why can’t the BBC learn some manners?


    Do you agree with Fergus? Join the debate at THESUN.CO.UK/COLUMNISTS

  75. I hear that former French president Chirac had an affair with a Japanese lady who gave birth to a boy who grew up to be a professional Sumo wrestler in Japan.

    Chirac has never acknowledged this publicly, but often travels to Japan to watch these Sumo wrestling matches with his body guards. Chirac also keeps a framed photo of a giant Caucasian/ Japanese Sumo wrestler in his Paris office. In France, sexually active politicians like Chirac are thought of as macho ( ?! )

    These huge Sumo wrestlers are force fed like they do geese in France to increase the size of their p… , I mean livers- sorry, joke ! I wonder if these Sumo wrestlers have ever suffered any ill health through their force feeding? Strange.

    I don’t understand why if men putting it about, they are called studs. But if women do the same, they are called sluts. Men are rubbish in bed anyway !!!

    Anyway, if Gordon wants to do a Chirac to sex up his dull image, he would certainly out of his depth !

  76. Jonathan Ross, can’t you update your humour? It doesn’t take a lot of brains to be merely smutty.

  77. Fergus, the problem is, the BBC are not the only body to adopt such an aggressive approach to unpaid bills. Lots of comanpies do it. There is an Act that forbids this, but obviously nobody is enforcing it. MORE REGULATION is required.

  78. It’s never a good idea to refuse to pay bills, that is not the answer to unfairness. Noel Edmonds should not do this, because he has benefitted hugely through the BBC, he could start a campaign, but to encourage non-payment is irresponsible.

  79. Fergus, do we know for sure that events you describe have actually happened? Is there documented evidence?

  80. It’s good that Boris’s article has drawn attention to the problem anyway.

    For the record, the second lady enjoying Gordon Brown’s favours on the Jonathan Ross show was Margaret Beckett.

  81. BBC4 does put on good programmes, there is one on tonight on Robert Kennedy Junior. The channel is very good on American politics and history.

  82. The worst thing about the BBC now is the way they have lost most of the sport. The BBC’s sport’s coverage used to be excellent and a major reason to watch the channel. No longer.

  83. Billy, Brokeback Mountain is a famous film direced by Ang Lee and it won the oscar for Best Film, i think, 3 years ago.

    Sorry I didn’t answer you before. it is also a range of mountains in Wyoming.

  84. My take on the BBC and many other things is very simple what is my cost per hour of entertainment and the BBC comes out pretty close to the best value.

    Take the hours you watch TV, listen to the radio or check the website and its amazing value, innovative and for the most part still trusted and more impartial.

    I would like to think that I have a wide range of interests and so hopefully a balanced view but the BBC is an amazing organisation and I would like to see it evolve through investment not starved of cash.

    (Just take the Olympic games, great coverage from a City halfway around the world, the wildlife programmes, programes about Britain, current and foreign news, the website is amazing and ahead of most others and finally whether you like Radio 1,2,3,4 or 5 Live there is nearly always something to enjoy.)

    So when a night in an average London hotel is £150 let us support a great British institution that costs less than that and gives us so much back.

  85. The BBC coverage of the Olympics and the Paralympics was amazing. Hugely enjoyable, first class.

    The childrens programmes on the BBC are also very good.

  86. It’s a matter of ethics.

    People should pay for what they use. If they watch the BBC, they should pay for the BBC (assuming the BBC wishes to continue sans advertising). This is fine – and so the BBC is right so chase up those who do watch and don’t pay. It’s no different to selling someone a pint of milk and them not paying for it.

    What IS wrong, however, is that the current arrangement is actually “watch *any* TV and pay for the BBC”.

    What if I never watch the BBC because it has no programmes I like? why on earth am I required by law – the law of the State, the law of the land, the same law which puts people in jail for crime – to pay for their running costs?

    It’s completely unethical that a company has shanghied the law of the land into forcing everyone who watches TV to pay for its costs!

    The problem here though is that the BBC broadcasts itself over the entire country, unencoded, and so argues that anyone with a TV *could* watch the BBC.

    I don’t have much sympathy for this. The *BBC* chooses its business model. It chooses to broadcast for free. Arguing then that anyone *could* receive it so *everyone* must pay is entirely disingenuous. It means they have a broken business model and the law of the land is being used to make it function.

    The basic ethical fact is – if I have a TV and I don’t watch the BBC, I should NOT be paying for the BBC. It doesn’t matter how much *you* like them, or how much *you* think they produce excellent material and news and so on – you STILL don’t have ANY right to FORCE me to pay for it when *I* don’t like it and *I* don’t watch it.

  87. Ros, I can confirm that some readers have complained to me ( their names, addresses and emails were supplied ) about the way the BBC TV Licensing thugs bullies harassing them. The rude BBC TV Licensing letter which Stacy re-typed here is the genuine standard letter those readers received, too.

    Right on, Blank Xalver !!! Your point is exactly what everybody who doesn’t want to watch BBC programmes has said before.

    Please join our debate on BBC Licensing at THESUN.CO.UK/COLUMNISTS

  88. Too right, Blank Xalver ! The BBC could broadcast their programmes encoded if they wanted to but that would have shown how many people actually watch the BBC and how much less money they would have made through TV licensing !

  89. Mr. Noel Edmonds, people here have argued for you and against you. It would be great if you would post an opinion, we would all love to read your take on all this.

  90. Angela, if you go to then type NOEL EDMONDS and click Search on their site, you will see lots of Noel Edmonds’s interviews given to papers over the years.

    Please read his two most recent interviews – 13 and 14 September 2008 ( at the top of the page ). Very remarkable and frank- straight to the point.

  91. Read Jeremy Clarkson’s column regarding hazel blears and I could not agree more! This woman has a built in autocue and cannot ad lib this creates an explosion as you scream at the television for the nauseating little nobody to “answer the ****ing question”. No matter how many times she is asked she simply starts with “as I said” and carrys on with the inane drivel that no one in their right mind believes.
    She should be banned as ‘a serious public health problem’.
    As I write and think about her I feel like stabbing myself in the eye with the pen lying to my right. Woman disappear with your boy friend my guess of the seven it is dopey.

  92. Noel doesn’t object to the BBC licence fee or try to justify how it’s spent. He objects to fierce anti-social adverts designed to frighten people. He has made it VERY clear that he likes and admires the BBC and believes such negative campaigning unjustified. His attitude … the BBC is very good value and should say so … not try to terrorise the paying public.

  93. Well I’m a master at singing theme tunes from Cebeebies due to having two children under three.
    No license and they’d have to watch commercial TV on Saturday and that’s just terrible for young children to watch.

    Coming from 25 years in Australia I can comment with remote perspective that the BBC is one of the few GOOD things the UK has to offer (as well as your good self Mr Johnson) so I for one have no issue with paying the fee.

    Although note the lack of breaks during programming makes toilet stops an issue (for the kiddies and me).

  94. Boris

    You are a Bunteresque bloated Buffoon, whose total lack of any talent encourages you to protect the vested interests of the corrupt systems that protect the mediocre council expenses scroungers like yourself.

  95. After the spectacle of the Ross Brand affair which has exposed a culture at the BBC completely lacking in accountabilty, it is now time for us to show our support for Noel Edmonds by boycotting the BBC license fee en masse.

    I don’t really care if the BBC wishes to experiment in “edgy” comedy, cry for the end of capitalism or call anyone to the right of Hillary Clinton a fascist. What I do object to is being forced to pay their salaries.

    The BBC license fee is an extortion racket.

    <a href=””Join the campaign to boycott the BBC license fee

  96. Please comment Boris on whether the BBC is operating within the requirements of its charter, especially with respect to political bias and lewd broadcasts by Jonathan Ross and others. I believe that the BBC is failing in its public duty to uphold high standards of broadcasting, while appreciating that this may be a topic for dispute. I have cancelled my DD and do not intend to pay a licence fee on principle until this matter is resolved. Entirely agree about music, and I also enjoy R4, but these do not require a £139 tax.

  97. The likes of terrorist Qatada should be sued by relatives and survivors of the atrocities carried out by the terrorists. The payment by the Human Rights Panel is a mockery of innocent peoples Human Rights to live a safe life.
    Once someone takes away anothers Right for a safe and peaceful life then they should pay with their Rights being removed leaving them nothing to hide behind.

    What on Earth are our politicians doing to earn their extortionate pay? David Cameron is right when he says we should tear up tyhe European Human Rights Bill and have the British Human Rights Bill. Stand up you gutless politicians and fight for the safety of the British peoples.

  98. No ‘leapords don’t change their spots’ My son was killed by an IRA bomb in London so you can imagine my disgust at Edward Kennedy receiving a knighthood, Barak Obama dining Gerry Adams in the White House – Come on you Americans – no excuse now for your ignorance – you’ve dug your own dead out of the rubble following a terrorist attack so you know what it’s like – stop courting these murderers – the Knighthood has just cost Brown my vote (if he ever had it).
    It’s well documented how much the Kennedys (led by old man Joe) hated us and I’ve seen no evidence of that having changed.

  99. Pensioners should not have to pay the licence fee.
    We retire at 65 or must we pay to keep these people and
    their huge salaries and pensions .Also who draws up the
    contracts for Ross etc.Do they get a bonus the more they
    pay them.?
    Yes i would like these big fat cats at the bbc sorted out.

  100. Can we sack all the MP’s including the North East hating tory party and their wisteria trimming, two faced con man of a leader, David I’ll say anything to get votes Cameron.

  101. ur not allways right gaunty, u might not like griffin, but, everyone has a right to rep[resent us how they feel, and, a lot of people are agreeing with griff at the moment, a lot,.

  102. Why do they call it a licence fee anyway. It is just a BBC Tax – plain and simple.

    The difference between a licence and a tax is the – Pay as you wish use. I mean a licence is a purchase to use a product or service. A tax is a mandatory contribution by law by all or qualifying citizens.

    Well, I have got SKY at home that I decided to buy and pay for – so please take away the BBC (I dont want it) but forcing me to pay a tax for something I dont want to use is wrong.

    Please call this licence the BBC tax.

  103. Interesting . So you are pro bbc. You think I’m fooled by all that twaddle about The Proms. It doesn’t pay politicians to get on the wrong side of the bbc. I’m not going to waste my time writing much here. It would be like writing to the bbc and expecting them to publish my opinion and I know the truth would not help their cause one bit. I will write more about this interesting discovery at the facebook group 10 million for no “TV” licence. The inverted commas are mine.
    But I do copy and paste these comments I make. That’s one nice advantage of the internet over the days when there was only tv and “points of view”.So it does make it harder to cover up the truth and it won’t be long now before we’re not forced to subsidise your wonderful nights at the bbc Proms and we can choose to watch the stuff that only appeals to the lowest common denominator .

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