Monday, March 02, 2015

BBC Licence Fee

As I've mentioned before on here, I am one of the apparently 3% who don't pay the TV Licence Fee in the UK.

I withdrew my support for the BBC because of the gut-wrenching spectacle of this cosy club awarding each other incredible payouts.  

Most of us mere mortals wonder how it can be possible for people to have a job, to do it so badly they have no choice but to resign, and then be given a huge lump of cash as a goodbye gift.

According to contemporaneous press reports, Peter Fincham, the former BBC1 controller walked away in 2007 with £500,000 after resigning.  He was the one who presided over the misrepresentation of the Queen in a BBC "Documentary".

Mark Byford didn't think there was anything wrong with him getting £949,000, he even popped up on the Beeb later touting his book. 
A report by the National Audit Office (NAO), released in July 2013, criticised the BBC for paying out £25m in severance to 150 outgoing senior BBC managers - £2m more than their contracts stipulated.

So it's now all better - right?  Well no, actually.

Since then we've had the Saville revelations, Rolf Harris and others - all of whom we paid for from licence fees.

I gave up my TV licence entirely legally.  I am fully compliant with the law that states I must not watch any live TV - no matter who broadcasts it, and I don't.

But that's not enough - these vultures want to make me pay to watch online content on catchup - not just the BBCs, but anyone's according to Tony Hall, the boss, reported in the BBC today.

Only I don't want to pay for the BBC.  Hall is consulting about a cap on these obscene payouts at £150K.  Note that he hasn't actually stopped them - nor is he going to, but he's having a think about a cap.

I don't wish to support the BBC on that basis alone (although there are many other reasons) and I think it is complacent and incorrect that he should imagine I should be compelled to.  I would be more than happy to opt out consumption of any BBC content, including their web and radio contents if he wishes to push it - fine with me, but he's not entitled to demand that my viewing of any online TV content is at the price of a fee to his organisation.

This is a bad thing because it could appear that I'm aligned with a variety of extremist nutters, conspiracy theorists and other tin-foil hatters, or folk like Murdoch who would love to destroy the BBC so they could take more money off people.  I don't wish to be in bed with these people, but I don't intend to pay the BBC another penny until they have a proper clean-up of their act, and bring back some proper objective new reporting, too.

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