The future of the BBC’s licence fee was thrown into jeopardy yesterday as John Whittingdale, newly appointed Tory culture secretary, vowed that he will be taking a tough stance against the charge. Arguing that the £145.50 tax is “in the long term unsustainable”, he called for it to be abolished.
At the moment, even if you’ve never owned or watched a TV you can be subject to receiving nasty letters demanding you pay, or even worse, receive visits from intimidating TV Licensing
goons Officers. Yes, if you still want to watch the BBC after Top Gear has been discontinued then of course you should pay, but is it fair that people who don’t watch their broadcasts are constantly asked to contribute?
In my final year of undergraduate study, my housemates and I didn’t have a TV. And while I was forced to come up with more inventive ways to get girls around rather than use the old ‘wanna watch a movie?’ cliché, there were benefits. I was no longer spending endless hours watching unlucky stoners receiving cannabis warnings on Road Wars and no time was wasted watching Jeremy Kyle patronise and condescend the mornings away.
However, despite the positives of the situation, I started to become harassed by TV Licensing staff insisting I pay for a service that I didn’t want, need or use. I did some research (okay, maybe I had too much time on my hands) and learnt that companies who work on behalf of the BBC have an ‘implied right of access’ to your property. This basically means that they have the right to enter your home in order to check if you have a TV – unless you remove this right.
To do this, I contacted them and said:
Hi, my name is X and I live at X. I’m removing your implied right of access to my property, as you know that’s my right under Common Law. If anyone from your company enters my property, I will be charging you £5000. This is how much I charge for people to come around.
This is an astonishingly effective technique; you should receive this letter in due course, and when you do, the problem is solved.