Commenter Dennis posted this in the comments to the item below:
All the BBC cares about is its own survival, and in recent weeks that has been called into question. "Sachsgate" got the nominally right-wing press frothing at the mouth about the BBC's arrogance.
Both online and in the prints, readers wrote in to denounce the lowering of editorial standards and also the BBC's blatant pro-Left bias. Charles Moore declared that he would not renew his TV licence while Ross was employed by the BBC; this seemed to be a catalyst for a torrent of other pledges not to pay, from readers. The anti licence fee thing is gathering momentum at the Express, Mail, and Telegraph.
Now the only way the licence fee can be enforced is if the BBC's black propaganda is widely believed. Exposure is being given at last to the truth -- that the detector vans are just empty Transits, driven round council estates to make the feckless pay up; that the enforcement officers are nothing but doorstep salesmen, paid an £18 commission for every licence they can sell; that TVL is no longer the licensing authority and has no statutory right of entry; that the statistics quoted in their threatograms are so variable as to be laughable; etc.
A devastating weapon in the refuseniks' campaign is withdrawal of the Common Law implied right of access. This technique has now got out via the online comments appended to the newspaper articles I mentioned.
If WOIRA becomes widely understood, the licence fee is a dead duck. The BBC are consequently terrified. They fear a large-scale revolt like the one that ended the TV licensing scheme in New Zealand.
That, I think, is why they are moderating their tone. The change will be patchy, since it must be effected by word of mouth rather than memo.
It is unbelievably stupid of them not to have sacked Ross. When he returns in January, that will provide a focus for another BBC hate-in. By that time many more viewers will have been wised up; 2009 may well mark the beginning of the end of the licence fee.