Friday 7 February 2020

Down with the BBC

There is a huge wave of media comment at the moment, mostly led by BBC journalists and workers (not that they admit this on Twitter etc), trying to defend the BBC license fee.

The new Government is they fear looking at the viability of the BBC and correcting the wrong of making it a jailing offence to not pay the annual licence fee.

As Capitalists, I have long detested the monopoly of the BBC. The government has in effect subsidies tv and radio in this country by force. A by-product has been historically a higher quality output than most countries, but at a price of forcing hundreds of people to go to jail every year.

In 2020 this can no longer be even slightly justified. Hollywood is being outcompetes by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Quality TV is available in the market to buy at a reasonable price. The BBC gave up on live sports so we are all used to paying for that or choosing not to now.

There is no moral stance in forcing people to pay for the BBC. However once the government reduces the jail threat, there will be hundreds of thousands more non-payers and the model will collapse.

Hence the campaign now. Sadly for the BBC too the only public service elements like News have also been compromised in our new partisan era. If the Government does want to subsidise news for the general good it could auction this off to the already numerous providers in the market.

My hope though is that the end is nigh for this regressive and unnecessary tax.


Wildgoose said...

I think a tipping point has been reached. Support for the BBC was slowly, slowly declining - and then lost all in a rush.

I got rid of my TV and TV license last year. Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime provide more than enough entertainment.

Why would I want to be insulted by the latest "woke" comedy? Why do I want yet more examples of men being written out of all relevance, (e.g. Dr Who)? Why should I put up with news coverage that sounds like it is provided by the modern equivalent of Lord Haw Haw?

Half of the Six Nations matches can be watched on my PC via the ITV Hub. The others require a trip to the pub. And that really is all the BBC viewing I have left now.

The BBC has written off people like me as an irrelavance. Is it so surprising that we are doing the same to them?

Matt said...

Not had a TV licence for about 4 years and haven't missed it. Sure, no live TV or iPlayer but the alternative streaming options make up for it. Either via Prime Video (as I have a subscription for the free delivery) or Google Play Movies.

Anonymous said...

The beeb has needed reigning in for a few years now, it's home to too many useless, middle class Peter Principle types. Managers change more often than the Doctor does.

And of course that type are naturally lefty, no matter how assiduous they are, that bias will creep in - and it does in spades.

They've also abandoned the working class - and good writing. Have you seen the latest Dr Whos? The series has a history of tackling social issues, as all good sci fi does, and has mostly done so in an oblique way so the message is gotten across, but isn't ostentatious.

That's gone. The one the other week about climate change was almost painful at the end, the "it's earth really" trope, followed by Whittaker practically braking the fourth wall to lecture.

Compared to some of the other programs out there, they've really dropped the ball.

DJK said...

I gave up the license five years ago. Netflix is far better, for less money. (Netflix is brilliant for foreign language TV series. Real diversity, as opposed to the monolithic BBC kind!)

I still listen to radio four news, but often have to switch off when it gets too preachy. Radio 4 comedy became unlistenable some years back.

E-K said...

Morning TV and radio has become Woman's Hour.

John in Cheshire said...

I've not paid the TV protection money since 2013, not watched any live TV since then and haven't watched the racist far-left bbc for nearly 20 years, other than radio7 when it was first introduced. When it morphed into radio 4 extra that was the end; lots of the hive's friends getting jobs for being knob heads; isn't that right, Arthur Smith?

What I can't understand is that ITV and Sky and Channel5 have never kicked up a stink about how we cannot watch their commercial stations live, without paying the TV protection money. If they think a privatised racist far-left bbc would take revenue away from them in advertising, I think they underestimate how much the racist far-left bbc is despised by a large and increasing proportion of the population in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Australia's model is very much like what things would be like if these proposals go ahead.

Having lived in Oz for 7 years and since returned I feel bound to defend the BBC.

Say hello to longer and longer ad breaks (including subscription channels). And say goodbye to decent comedy (I'm assuming C4 would also perish).
The BBC still delivers huge value via the radio IMO.
With regards to Netflix et al - at some point the vast quantities of cash currently being spent will drop off, and then what happens?
Also independent journalism is fading - won't killing off the BBC only accelerate this?
Is the BBC really that irrevocably bad that it's worth taking the huge risk of killing it?
BBC news is bad but isn't the accelerating spread of fake news worse? (And again won't the BBCs departure further proliferate it?)

dearieme said...

They only need sack a thousand Linekers/Shearers/Wrights and they'd have plenty of money.

Why am I expected to pay a poll tax to hear three old geezers agree that the way to win a football match is to try really, really hard?

The first decent telly I can remember was The Age of Kings. The last was ... dunno: Yes, Prime Minister? Anyway, a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Just don't expect news to be any better when it's all owned by half a dozen global companies, as entertainment is now.

The BBC helped dismantle peaceful post-war Britain, I guess it's only fair that the parasite dies with the host.

dearieme - back in the day the BBC created their own presenters - Coleman, Motson et all, right back to Raymond Glendenning, who most of you won't have heard of.

Then they decided it was better to pay megabucks to people who were already millionaires - Shearer, Lineker, McEnroe. In that, they are truly in tune with modern Britain.

YDG said...

RE: Anonymous @ 8:35 pm

"And say goodbye to decent comedy"

We all said goodbye to decent comedy on the BBC years ago.

"(I'm assuming C4 would also perish)."

That needs to die even more than the BBC does. Why on earth do we need
two subsidised, sanctimonious, left wing broadcasters?

"The BBC still delivers huge value via the radio IMO."

Fair enough, that's your opinion. I used to listen to Radio 5 Live
while driving to and from work until I noticed that it was never more
than 60 seconds before they started pushing some politically correct,
virtue signaling, bigotry that obliged me to turn it off. So I don't
bother any more.

"Also independent journalism is fading - won't killing off the BBC
only accelerate this?"

The BBC peddles pretentious, self-important, metropolitan, left
liberal propaganda. There is nothing "independent" about it - as
ex-BBC employees have reported, it is all re-cycled from the
Grauniad. Try this example. A little while ago the BBC sent Ed Balls
(you remember him - former Labour MP) to tour the US to try to
discover why people had elected Donald Trump. Now try to imagine a
former Conservative MP making a BBC documentary that tried to uncover why
anybody ever voted for Hitlery Clinton? It's impossible isn't it?

"Is the BBC really that irrevocably bad ..."


"that it's worth taking the huge risk of killing it?"

I'm not seeing this risk. People that value the BBC's output will
continue to pay for it. The rest of us will spend our money however we
choose - as it should be.

If the BBC is so great then it will have no trouble securing subscription
income. If it can't do that, then there is no audience for its output
and it is right that it withers.

Raedwald said...

I'd encourage everyone to respond to the DCMS consultation - the online version has about 5 questions and can just about be completed using a few mouse clicks

Anonymous said...

but at a price of forcing hundreds of people to go to jail every year.

What a load of crap. People are not jailed for not paying a TV licence. It's the same as not following the road signs, or not paying your tax.

You get sent to prison for ignoring a request of the courts. Even Boris knows that.

Now back to the issue .... Just like the radio licence was eventually withdrawn, the TV one should go the same way. If any government wants it's own propaganda machine, they should pay for it out of their party funds and not to dump it on us.

Nick Drew said...

broadly with Al on this: I'd hoped (hope?) the BBC wasn't irrevocably bad / beyond reform

I summarised my concern over fake news etc in the Pomerantsev book review last w/end (and I kinda guess most folks have similar worries). Ergo, a "news-source of record" is required. It sure ain't the Times any more; and the Beeb has fundamentally, and disgracefully, let us down on this. It needs an absolute kicking

(and, to stick to the point, the Licence Fee is odd, maybe even absurd)

BUT ... (to be continued)

andrew said...

News source of record
... the economist?

Jan said...

There are 2 ways to fund it:

1. Out of general taxation

2. A subscription service

The TV licence is definitely an anachronism. I'd prefer it was paid for out of general taxation. We all pay for things we don't actually use this way so one more won't make much difference especially if they stop paying mega-bucks to a select few.

E-K said...


Paul Hollywood tells his wife he doesn't fancy her because he has a penchant for young women and he's a bastard.

Philip Schofield tells his wife he doesn't fancy her because he has a penchant for young men and he's a HERO !

As with racism (muslims exclusively knifing or grooming white people) the left operate double standards.

Raedwald said...

Oh I do miss the News of the Screws on days such as this

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that lefty blogs and forums agree with everyone here about getting rid of the BBC, because they think it is a Tory/far-right mouthpiece. According to them the beloved Laura K is the reason Boris Johnson won the election.

So the BBC must be doing something correctly. Obviously, this still doesn't justify the licence fee.

Anonymous said...

As a pensioner I can't afford to pay the TV licence and subscribe to Netflix. Given the choice it would be Netflix every time so the sooner the BBC TV is done away with the better. Freedom of choice for me at last.

Charlie said...

Anon: "People are not jailed for not paying a TV licence. It's the same as not following the road signs, or not paying your tax. You get sent to prison for ignoring a request of the courts. Even Boris knows that."

It's not the same as not following road signs at all. You can't kill someone by ignoring the TV licence.

Indeed you do get sent to prison for ignoring the courts - remind me why the people who get jailed were summoned to court in the first place?

Elby the Beserk said...

We haven't had a TV for years. Even had we, there is no way we would pay the licence fee. It does seem that people are cottoning on and cancelling in droves. The current model is dying rapidly, however, how long it takes to turn around a vast and unaccountable bureaucratic Behemoth is another matter.

One of my real beefs is what they do NOT report; it seems that this tells you as much about them as what they DO. For example, the refusal to report on the endless demos and protests in France, even with extreme violence being meted out by the CRS (their speciality).

Another here - a report on a melting glacier in Antarctica fails to report that in that portion of the icecap there is widespread geothermal activity. Indeed, this has been known from some time, and indeed, this lay person knew this but the BBC - experts in CAGW as we all know - didn't.

How odd

There's a word for such reporting, and that is "lies".

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Elby the Beserk said...

E-K said...
Morning TV and radio has become Woman's Hour.

5:40 pm

Transgender Hour, I think you will find, E-K. I used to listen to it. And then some years back the Transgebder cult hit WH full on and I turned off.

Indeed, the only reason I now might listen to the news on R4 is to remind me why I don't.

Egregious examples. The blackout on the French demos and riots. And an item on Coronavirus in China morphing seamlessly into one on racism against the Chines here. God help us. They cannot help themselves any more, so it's to time for the government to help them.