Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Mike McNally

Bio

March 26, 2014 - 3:49 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

The reputation of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), the UK’s state broadcaster, for liberal bias is such that U.S. conservatives are as familiar with its anti-Republican, anti-Israel, pro-big government, multicultralist agenda, and its tendency to subject Christianity to skepticism and ridicule while giving Islam the benefit of the doubt, as they are with Monty Python, The Benny Hill Show and its other successful transatlantic exports.

And while American conservatives rightly complain about the liberal bias in their own country’s media, at least they’re not forced to pay for it (aside from their share of the relatively meagre federal subsidy for PBS and NPR). Their British counterparts are not so fortunate.

The BBC is funded by the TV licence fee, a £145.50 ($240) compulsory tax on households that own a television – so even if you’ve never watched a BBC program in your life, if you have a TV set you have to pay. And if you don’t like the relentless stream of pro-immigration, pro-European Union propaganda on its news programs, or the non-stop jokes at the expense of (Republican) U.S. politicians on its comedy shows, or the thrillers in which the bad guys turn out to be Mossad agents or anti-abortion fanatics, you have to pay (if you think I’m exaggerating about the bias in entertainment shows, an upcoming Doctor Who episode will feature an “intergalactic banker” as a villain).

Non-payment of the licence fee is currently a criminal offence. Offenders can be hauled into court, and ultimately jailed. Such compulsion sits uneasily with the BBC’s image, carefully cultivated by its supporters in the wider liberal establishment, as the country’s “favorite broadcaster” and a “much loved” national institution (similarly emotive language is used to attack critics of the beleaguered National Health Service).

As a more practical matter, it’s also putting a strain on Britain’s courts; around one in ten criminal cases are prosecutions for licence fee evasion. In 2012, 190,000 people were prosecuted for non-payment, and 165,000 were convicted and given a criminal record – two-thirds of them women, and many of them low-income single parents and the elderly (you don’t qualify for a free licence until you’re 75). Fifty-one were jailed.

The current licence fee agreement is up for renewal in 2017, and ahead of negotiations the government has floated a proposal, which has attracted cross-party support, to decriminalise licence fee evasion; non-payment would instead be treated as civil offence, and offenders would no longer face the threat of imprisonment.

The BBC has responded by warning that if the proposals are implemented non-payment will increase, and the cost of the licence fee for those who do pay will rise. Furthermore, one of its directors (a former Labour government minister, in case you were still in any doubt about the left-wing bias) has warned that the BBC would be forced to axe some channels – and first for the chop would be those dedicated to children’s programming.

Think of the children! If the BBC’s threat has a familiar ring to it, it’s because liberals employed very similar scare tactics during the 2012 presidential election campaign, claiming that Republicans wanted to kill off Big Bird and Sesame Street after Mitt Romney said he’d end the federal subsidy for PBS.

But let that sink in for a moment: Britain’s state broadcaster is threatening to take children’s shows off the air if members of the public are no longer jailed for refusing to fund it. And this from an organization that, back in the days when it actually did command the respect and affection of a majority of the British public, was nicknamed “Auntie” in recognition of the benevolent role it was felt to play in the life of the nation – these days it’s more of a wicked stepmother.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"and a “much loved” national institution (similarly emotive language is used to attack critics of the beleaguered National Health Service)."

Does the BBC heat its studios by burning dead babies too?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Does anyone have any doubt why this was the first amendment?

34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as we are made to subsidize ours. Ours are subsidized by stealth: how many billions have we paid to Big Bird TV in past decades?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, Mike, I assume there is no DirecTV nor DISH in the UK. Correct?

Are there any laws in England which assume "standing" as a basis for a lawsuit?

Is there such a thing as a class action suit?

Looking forward to a response.

All the Best:

Bill
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is the difference between a TV and a flat screen for a computer. Just let designate your viewing device a a computer flat screen.

Define the progs out of a job.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I understand the UK television tax, if you have no ability to receive live TV, you avoid $240 in extra taxes. So if you only watch streaming video from netflix, for example, you can avoid sending money to the BBC.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
If too many people avail of that option, computer monitors -- including those on laptops, tablets and smartphones -- will be added to the tax law. The Booby See will insist on it.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
What was that phrase in the Hitch Hiker's guide to the Galaxy?

Oh yeah, the 1st one's up against the wall. We use monitors and when the progs try to get us ....
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
But in the US, even if you only watch streaming videos, or not watch anything at all, you are still paying your TV taxes: Public Broadcasting Corporation, and Public Radio.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"and a “much loved” national institution (similarly emotive language is used to attack critics of the beleaguered National Health Service)."

Does the BBC heat its studios by burning dead babies too?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but only the ones supplied by their own journos.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All

One Trackback to “Think of the Children! BBC Threatens to Axe Kids’ Shows if Britons Aren’t Jailed for Dodging TV Tax”