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I Don’t Have a Television License

Why I don’t pay for a television license. This applies to the United Kingdom only, and it is not intended as legal advice).

Television licences are issued by the Television Licencing Authority in the United Kingdom, and the revenue collected from their sale goes to fund the British Broadcasting Corporation, enabling it to carry out its function as a Public Service Broadcaster.  So far so wonderful because, even if they carry such reprehensible rubbish as Russell Brand, they are a very respectable organisation, which I hold in far higher esteem than any other broadcasting platform I know.

However, the licences are payable by the public partly so that the BBC will then be impartial, not able to be swayed by one political party or another – which again is laudable.  But on the basis that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and following the logic thrown up by this unique and democratic funding arrangement, the BBC should not, then, take money from any political or governmental organisation.  Organisations, for example, like the European Union.

You, the British citizen, may think what you like about the great European project: personally, I have a brace of arguments both for it and agin it.  But it seems to me that if we have an impartial broadcast media (the suggestion that it is possible any more to have an impartial press would be enough to get one fitted up for the strait-jacket), then it should be impartial on all sides, which means no finance-inspired Euro-creep.  But if the Beeb pockets handouts from Brussels, it can do without more of my money.

Incidentally, there’s another reason I don’t have a television licence.  I don’t have a television…

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User Comments
  1. Annie Hintsala

    On February 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    We have a similar problem with public television (PBS) here in the states. Many stations are getting more and more funding from private groups as their public funding drys up. Relegious organizations particularly are taking an interest and the quality of programing has taken a hit. Even if I agreed with everything a particular church had to say, I still wouldn’t want it funding PBS.

  2. Bullwinkle Muse

    On March 13, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Nicely done. Is this television license intended to be a sort of collective “pledge” toward public television, assessed by the government? I gather it’s voluntary, seeing how you don’t participate.

  3. Tabitha Hergest

    On March 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    No, it’s not voluntary. It’s just iniquitous.

  4. Ro Marie

    On March 19, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Television is very, very bad for you. We don’t own one either. Just say no.

  5. Bo Russo

    On March 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Most television is crap.Some shows are funny.Years ago we called it the boob tube here in the states.First it was great,then the Vietnam war dominated it,next came cable and satellites,then MTV.Now it is wasted time by youths and immature who play play station perpetually.I watch TV for two reasons…my chosen sports and an occasional movie.the rest is mostly nonsense.

  6. Frosty Johnson

    On October 21, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Got sick of watching left wing liberal s*** on Aunty Beeb years ago, they have a habit of espousing one side of an argument only, i wouldnt have a TV if was up to me, buy a license or face prison? vive la revolution!

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