….but I do believe it is time to scrap the BBC license fee.
My husband has been of this opinion for a long time. For most of that time, I didn’t agree with him’ I enjoy their drama output (I think of my favourite shows and documentaries and the majority were either made by or purchased by the BBC) and the suggestion that ditching the licence fee might mean their loss had me firmly in the ‘the BBC is sacrosanct’ camp.
But no longer. Why?
Their news and current affairs bias, mostly. The slow realisation that I (and millions of other householders) are paying for them to spout EU propaganda at every available opportunity has finally alienated them to me.
Whether you voted in 2016 to Leave the EU or to Remain in it (or didn’t vote at all) you’d have to be pretty disinterested in current affairs not to have noticed that the BBC’s coverage of Brexit is heavily biased against Leave. It’s not uncommon for their televised debates to have a preponderance of Remainers who proceed to try and shout down any Leave representative, who are always underrepresented. It’s not just the BBC – most MSM (mainstream media) is biased, too. But that’s another blog for another day (perhaps).
Secondly…. if you read newspapers or go onto social media at all, then I’m sure you’ll have also noticed the commotion regarding the proposed rise in the TV license fee – which for non-Brits reading this, means that even if you never watch any of the BBC channels (BBC1, BBC2 and online BBC3 – Channel 4 is also owned by the BBC), if you have a television set in your house, the law says you must pay for a TV License (currently about £12 a month). Other channels (ITV) pay for themselves via advertising. Incidentally, it used to to be that there were no adverts on the BBC – but nowadays, promotion of other BBC shows feels just as annoying as the commercial advertising you get on ITV and the online channels. They even have a horrible habit of talking over/cutting off the credits as a show ends. *sigh*
So… back to the issue at hand. Widespread condemnation of the price hike, often accompanied by phrases such as ‘paying to hear biased views/propaganda’ is rife on social media. The BBC now has a new nickname – the ‘Brussels Biased Corporation’. (It may have had one before, but if so I’m unaware of it)
Then the clincher – I learned that the BBC receives hugemongous sums of money in funding from the EU. So it’s perhaps no wonder they march to the same drum/sing from the same song sheet… impartial journalism, gosh – what might that be?!?
So I would really, really like to watch impartial reporting of the facts, and to hear how events might affect the UK (either way) – NOT biased reporting skewed to a particular agenda. I would think the same if Remain had won the vote and the media was all for Leave. It’s just wrong. So much positive news regarding Brexit goes unreported on the BBC (and other MSM sites) because it doesn’t suit their pro-EU agenda. I know that many people who voted to remain are just as fed up with it. I would like to watch and learn from programs like ‘BBC Question Time’ and ‘The Andrew Marr Show’… but they are so very biased it is painful to watch. All one learns from them is just how low journalists/anchors/interviews will stoop, and how very rude they are to those they don’t agree with. Whatever happened to good manners?
So, I am finally cutting my emotional ties to ‘Aunty Beeb’. I think the BBC should either use advertising to raise revenue like every other channel, or become subscriber-only, like Netflix. They should not be allied/affiliated in any way to the government of the day and so should have their corporation status removed. And most importantly, the license fee should be scrapped. It’s a mystery to many social media commentators how the BBC can rake in all that license fee money, get additional money from the EU and STILL feel entitled to put up the fee… astounding. Looking at Companies House online, you cannot see the current accounts, because in 2006 the BBC was granted a Royal Charter, which presumably means they don’t have to reveal their accounts to the public anymore. Somehow that seems somewhat ‘dodgy’ to me…. what do you think? Here is a link, if you are at all interested: BBC 2006 companies house.
So whilst perusing the reaction to the License Fee hike news on Twitter last weekend, I was astounded to learn that many people have been withholding their license fee for years, without being fined or sent to prison. Apparently one is not obliged to allow any representatives who might visit, into your home (they can’t break in)…? Whether one is brave enough to stand up to them is another matter, but hundreds of thousands (perhaps more) of people do. Whoever knew? I’m not sure I’m that brave, but I rather wish I was!
Ironically, one of my favourite BBC shows is ‘WIA‘ – a comedy satire series about the inner workings of the BBC – commissioned by BBC2! Running from 2014 to 2017, ‘Twenty Twelve’ and ‘WIA’ are rare and delightful examples of Brits poking fun at the BBC establishment. How it ever got made, I’m not sure, but it’s a gem.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about the BBC, whether or not you agree with mine! Do you think the license fee should be scrapped? You can vote in a poll here, if you’ve a mind.
So I’m sorry it has come to this, Aunty Beeb… but you and I have now fallen out!
Thank you for stopping by!
Edit: just as I posted this blog, a new mail alert popped up in the corner of my screen. “Thanks for renewing your TV Licence by Direct Debit. You’re now covered up to the end of February 2020.” Oh, the irony…. !