License to View – BBC Television License

I have heard this before, but I had never really read into it till now. What most people take for granted around the world is a liberty that most Britain’s don’t have. Free TV.

You see, whilst I adore the BBC media coverage and documentaries, there has been a governmental clause from day dot that the public pay for a license to contribute to the cost of running a radio/TV station.

Fair enough, the pay for use system does have its advantages. Less ads, arguably better content and less skew from the interests of big business are some examples. But the problem is what happens if you don’t watch TV, or rather you choose not to watch the BBC related programming.

TV Licenses in Britain earn a great deal of revenue for the BBC. In order to enforce the collection of licenses, a TV Licensing agency manages the collection of annual dues and uses various techniques to tell whether the occupier of a house is using a Television set or not. There are large fines for not owning up to having a TV & much like car registration, when a television changes hands, be it from a dealer or the 2nd hand market, then the change must also be noted and the new owners must get a license also.

The problem seems to be that if you don’t own a TV, or choose not to watch it, you are consistently asked every 2 years, to prove your non-use of the TV. It appears that simply stating that you don’t like TV isn’t enough, rather if you have a TV just for watching DVD’s for arguments sake, you must get the set neutered by an electrician such that it cannot pick up TV signals.

I have not heard of such a thing anywhere else in the ‘free’ world. Whilst most governments seem to be concerned about censorship to the media as a whole, the UK appear to be forcing you to watch their censored view.

My view of the BBC to date has been that their news is much less biased than most local news so that is one plus, but the fact that you are suspected of TV watching until proven innocent seems rather strange. Mainly because Britains have let their government get away with it for so long shows what can happen when leadership is let to go unchecked and unquestioned.

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