Why I Hate The BBC
Ah, the good old beeb. How could they possibly annoy anyone? Good question, thanks for asking.
The concept of needing a license to watch television is probably pretty damn bizarre to anyone outside the UK but it is, unfortunately, a cold hard fact here. The sole purpose of said license is to fund the BBC, which in my little world makes it a pay-per-view channel. The beeb doesn't see it that way of course. If you have a television you have to have a television license even if you have no desire to see the rubbish that the BBC tries to pass off as quality programming. "Ah, but the other channels have to rely on annoying adverts for funding whereas the beeb is advert free!" Oh really?? The BBC wastes more time - and our license money - blowing its own horn with expensive and equally annoying computer generated station identifications than any of the other channels put together, not to mention constantly reminding us what's on the other BBC channels. Some of which you can't see without a digital set-top box. And if ITV, Channel 4 and Five have to fund their way with advertising, then why do I still have to pay for the BBC while I'm watching them? If I don't want to watch the BBC then I shouldn't have to pay for it. And it ain't cheap either! A colour TV license will set you back £121.00 a year and a license to view the world in black & white is £40.50.
So what do you get for £121.00 a year? Rubbish, that's what. Countless gardening, cooking and DIY programs, and enough God-awful nature shows to turn a die-hard vegan into a ferocious carnivore. Oh sure there are a few decent documentaries, an occasional film that's worth watching and there are some pretty good history programs now and then, but hey, I can see that stuff on the other channels too!
But the thing that really, REALLY gets my goat is this: TV Licensing (the trading name used by the BBC's agents who collect the licence fee on their behalf) spends an exorbitant amount of the license fee on advertising warning us of the perils of watching television without a license. In other words, the company that's supposed to be using our money for quality programming is in fact using it to threaten us into paying them money so they can continue to threaten us! Can anyone else see anything wrong with this? And it doesn't stop at billboards, giant posters on buses and bus stops, newspaper and magazine ads, or TV and radio ads either. No sirree. TV Licensing has a giant infrastructure all set up to monitor television users, collect their money and prosecute the non-payers.
Yep, prosecute. You see, having a TV license is not just a requirement, it's the law. And not having one could cost you a day in court and £1000.00! That's more than a first time drunk driving conviction. But how do they know if you're watching TV without a license? I'll quote from the TV Licensing website ( www.tvlicensing.co.uk ):
"There are a number of ways we can find out.
At the heart of our operation is the TV Licensing database of over 28 million home and business addresses, telling us which of these have TV Licences.
All of our enforcement officers have access to this database and will check whether or not you have a licence. If you are using a TV and are unlicensed, you could face prosecution and a hefty fine.
We have a fleet of detector vans, plus, our enforcement officers have access to hand-held detection devices capable of detecting a magnetic field when a TV is switched on. In fact, we catch an average of over 1,000 people watching TV without a licence every day."
(Hmmm.... a thousand+ people a day?? Sounds to me like the license isn't very popular.)
Holy George Orwell Batman, a fleet of detector vans and hand-held magnetic detection devices! How very high-tech, not to mention very expensive. They even manage to make it sound like they're actually performing a valuable public service. And guess who pays for it all? Correct! It's paid for with our license money, as are the wages of the 1200+ staff they have at their main centres in Bristol and Darwen in Lancashire. Strangely enough, neither the TV Licensing website (also paid for with license money I would imagine) nor their pdf information leaflet mention how much it all costs or where the money comes from. I wonder why??
To be fair, I should perhaps mention at this point that certain concessions are available regarding the license. If, for instance, you're registered blind, the BBC is so magnanimous that they actually give you 50% off your license fee. Such unselfish generosity brings a tear to my eye. In fact, I'm so moved by the offer that if I ever lose my eyesight completely I'll be sure and shove my white cane as far as possible up the nearest BBC executive's ass I can find. It's the least I can do. Bastards....
So let's see if I've got all this straight. We're paying a large chunk of cash for an antiquarian licensing system that is supposed to finance a television station that either can't be bothered or couldn't care less finding out what it's captive audience actually wants to watch, but in reality directly funds a massive organisation whose sole purpose is to threaten me and my fellow television viewers into paying said fee. In return for our hard earned cash we get a bunch of crap programs that people don't want to watch - hardly surprising considering how much money is being wasted on license enforcement. What a great deal.
I've got a better idea. Get rid of the license which will have the added benefit of making redundant the gigantic money sucking parasite known as TV Licensing. Ditch the expensive scare tactic advertisements and the endless self-promotion the BBC insists on inflicting on us. Stop paying BBC fat cat executives huge salaries for sitting on their asses and force feeding the public sub-standard programming. Solicit corporate, government and public donations to fund the beeb as PBS does quite successfully in the US. And for God's sake throw the TV chefs, gardeners and DIY gurus out on the street!! If these things can't - or won't - be done then get rid of the BBC; it's way past its sell-by date anyway.
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