back to article Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

The BBC TV Licensing fee is set to be debated in Parliament in early May after a public petition passed the 100,000 signature mark. The petition calls for TV Licensing revenues to be deducted from "service providers" instead of being collected directly from households in the UK. At the time of writing it stands at 107,779 …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good going cobber

    Impressive stuff - a man in his eighties pressing "Send" 100,000 times.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Good going cobber

      Man in his 80s doesn't pay a license fee, unless they want to, of course.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Good going cobber

        "Man in his 80s doesn't pay a license fee, unless they want to, of course."

        Yep, if you have 2 parents over 75, both are entitled to a free TV license at the address of their choice....

    2. Michael B.

      Re: Good going cobber

      No, Rupert Murdoch has people to do that for him.

      1. Adam Jarvis

        Re: Good going cobber

        Given the Guardian CiF (Comment is Free) replies to the recent article on £200, 6 Point Mobile Phone use while driving, it seems like there is the equivalent of a paid oppressive right wing 'DM Style' army filling the comment section with conformist 'just accept it' comments, many accounts recently.

        This Government seems to have a skewed agenda for disproportionate fines against those who can least afford to pay it.

        A revenue raising, "Head clipping" agenda taking proportionately more money from the poor, for what often are just genuine mistakes, lapses in concentration without intent.

        Often where self policing, has been deemed at a certain statistical level (i.e. 80mph on the motorway), and by setting the technology to trip slightly below this level, and do this 24/7 'blanket approach' is massively revenue generating.

        There is a equally bad deceitfulness 'grabby attitude' to the revenue raising methods been used, to the crimes being committed.

        1. ZSn

          Re: Good going cobber

          You do know that the speed limit is 70mph and that 5 people a day on UK roads often caused by speeding. Perhaps you could avoid a speeding ticket by sticking to the legal speed limit? Strange idea I know, but it does work. Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation but to stop bad drivers speeding. It seems that bad drivers are unaware of this fact.

          1. Graham Dawson

            Re: Good going cobber

            I think you'll find that those accidents are not caused by "speeding", but by inappropriate speed for the conditions.

            1. ZSn

              Re: Good going cobber

              And you'll find that the indicated speed is not just the legal requirement but also quite a good guide to what is safe.

              1. dvd

                Re: Good going cobber

                Nah. They used to be set sensibly, statistically using an 85th percentile. Now they are set for pollution and political reasons. Which leads to ordinary sensible people perceiving the speed limits as being set too low. Which leads to (as even the DoT acknowledges) a general lack of respect for them.

                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                  So this means at least 50mph as many cars are most economical around 56mph.

                  And most slushbox autos are more economical around 50 as well, most drivers chase the lock up for economy reasons.

                  1. FlossyThePig

                    Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                    ...as many cars are most economical around 56mph...

                    Where did this myth come from?

                    1. Missing Semicolon

                      Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                      @Where did this myth come from?

                      ... watching the trip computer whilst trimming the speed on the Cruise control?

                    2. Dave 15

                      Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                      Probably from a bit of reasoning. One of the figures tested and published is economy under ideal conditions at 56mph, since we know manufacturers want to appear good (to the point of cheating if needed) the conclusion has to be the 56mph figure is probably going to be one which they 'tune to'.

                      BTW a 1.6 petrol Zafira A (also in my interesting stable of vehicles) is good for best part of 50mpg at 50mph, but this is already dropping off by 56 and is noticeably less by 60, by the time you take it on an autobahn 'flat out' (about 100mph) you are down to 15mpg or less.

                      1. Ogi

                        Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                        > BTW a 1.6 petrol Zafira A (also in my interesting stable of vehicles) is good for best part of 50mpg at 50mph, but this is already dropping off by 56 and is noticeably less by 60, by the time you take it on an autobahn 'flat out' (about 100mph) you are down to 15mpg or less.

                        This is an interesting topic. I always believed cars fuel efficiency was based on a combination of gearbox ratios, final drive ratio, engine tuning and engine type. The cars I have driven seem to have engines tuned to be most fuel efficient around the 3000 rpm mark ( except the VW Turbodiesel, around 3000 rpm the turbo would start running and your mpg drops like a rock).

                        Now, what speed you are at varies by which gear you are in. In top gear at 3k rpm one of my cars seems happy around 75 mph, and the other around 85mph. However I wonder if in lower gears this would match up with the 56mph mentioned above.

                        I would like to test this out, however 56mph is a bit of an odd number to reach. It is too slow to go on the motorway (where I can set the cruise control on the car, and see what mpg I get over a period), and too fast to do the same on A roads (with traffic, lights, pedestrians, etc... impacting mpg). What I might do is see if 56mpg corresponds to 3k in a particular gear, but that would not prove it is the most efficient place to drive at for fuel efficiency.

                  2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                    So this means at least 50mph as many cars are most economical around 56mph.

                    Bzzt. Not True Alert!

                    Think about it logically - does it make *any* sense that all cars would average out to that? That a 1L Suziki Swift would have the same sweet spot as my 1.8L VVT Honda? Or as a 2.6 turbo diesel?

                    That stat was massaged into being in the US in the 1960s and 1970s and has no real bearing on reality. The fact is, that each combination of engine, gearbox, fuel type, aero conformation and wheels has their own sweet spot. Some will undoubtedly be 50 (the Morris Minor sort of is - although telling the *actual* speed is awkward because of the need to take an average reading off the wobbling speedo needle) some will be 70, some are rather higher than that.

                    And most slushbox autos are more economical around 50 as well

                    Certainly isn't the case for my FR-V auto - the most economical is about 65.

                    1. myithingwontcharge

                      Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                      "So this means at least 50mph as many cars are most economical around 56mph.Bzzt. Not True Alert!"

                      Well for years European economy figures have been based on a car doing 100kph (56 mph) so manufactures had a massive incentive to make them most economical at this speed. This is mainly done by making the top gear have lowest revs at this speed. You could get better economy by using a lower gear at low revs, but then you'd be doing about 30mph on the motorway, which is even more dangerous than 80 in free-flowing traffic. Not sure if this is still the case, but it certainly was for most of the cars large and small I've had in the past.

                      1. MJI Silver badge

                        Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                        But read the second paragraph about torque converter auto boxes, most I have driven lock up between 45mph and 52mph.

                        One car in particular would get 5mpg improvement by travelling a few mile per hour quicker.

                        Current lump drops quite a few RPM when lockup kicks in.

                        Not everyone drives small boring things.

                      2. Arion

                        Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                        Well for starters 100kph (at just over 62mph) is about 6mph faster then the 56mph speed you mentioned.

                        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                          Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                          "Well for starters 100kph (at just over 62mph) is about 6mph faster then the 56mph speed you mentioned."

                          That's because he had a brain fart and meant to type 90kph. 56mph is the closest whole number to that standard test speed used across most of Europe. It's also the speed limiter setting on lorries. Eu regs say you can't drive a lorry of the classes requiring a limiter at more than 56mph but the UK speed limit is 60 for those same lorries on a motorway.

                      3. commonsense

                        Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                        "Well for years European economy figures have been based on a car doing 100kph (56 mph) so manufactures had a massive incentive to make them most economical at this speed"

                        Yet 100kph is 62mph...

                    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                      Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                      "Think about it logically - does it make *any* sense that all cars would average out to that?"

                      If that's one of the figures of merit that every other manufacturer (and the authorities) use to compare efficiencies then, yes, it makes *lots* of sense that manufacturers would engineer a sweet spot around that mark.

                    3. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                      The difference between car models and engine sizes doesn't matter as much as you'd think. Wind resistance increases with the cube of speed. At low speeds, there's not much wind resistance, but - assuming you're driving a typical road car, such as a BMW 5 series or a VW Golf or a Mercedes C or a Mazda 3 - by the time you get to about 50 mph, fully 40% of your power is spent overcoming wind resistance, and before you get to 70 it's more like 75%. The only way to reduce that is to design cars more aerodynamically, but realistically there's a limit to how far you can go that way (and remain street-legal), and the above-named models are already pretty close to the optimum.

                      Of course it'll vary in all kinds of ways depending on actual conditions - slope, weather, even other traffic - but all other things being equal, the sweet spot is almost certainly going to be *below* 60 mph.

                  3. James Wilson

                    Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

                    >So this means at least 50mph as many cars are most economical around 56mph.

                    Actually cars are almost always most economical below 40mph, and some considerably less than that.

                2. strum

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  > Which leads to ordinary sensible people perceiving the speed limits as being set too low.

                  <Guffaw>

                  You do know that traffic has other effects, apart from impact-at-speed? Poluttion, yes - but also noise and inaccessible neighbourhoods (at the other side of fast, busy roads)

              2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: Good going cobber

                "

                And you'll find that the indicated speed is not just the legal requirement but also quite a good guide to what is safe.

                "

                How can that be true when most speed limits are fixed, while the maximum speed that is acceptably safe is variable, dependant on weather, lighting, traffic, aptitude of the driver and the type of vehicle.

            2. Triggerfish

              Re: Good going cobber

              I think you'll find that those accidents are not caused by "speeding", but by inappropriate speed for the conditions.

              Well you could argue if they cannot see a big sodding orange camera and slow down before it tickets them, they were going at an innapropriate speed.

              1. Graham Dawson

                Re: Good going cobber

                Given only 3% of traffic accidents are caused by people driving over the limit, I'd say that isn't a particularly useful outcome.

                1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  It is possible to be found guilty of speeding speeding by doing 30mph in a 40mph zone, but it requires an experienced officer to witness the speed and correctly assess that it is too fast for the conditions (if there's lots of ice/snow about for example, or there are obstacles in the road).

                  The Highway guide provides useful information on how to drive safely because it assumes a lower level than what would be considered average - but if you read Roadcraft and heed the training it will provide you with a better ability to understand and assess risks.

                  IMHO the most common causes of accidents are rooted in the rejection of the most common-sense rule of them all..

                  "If you can't stop your vehicle safely in the distance you can SEE, then you are going too fast."

                  1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                    Re: Good going cobber

                    but if you read Roadcraft and heed the training it will provide you with a better ability to understand and assess risks.

                    Or ride a powerful (set of) motorbikes for 25+ years without killing yourself. Mind you, I learnt to ride motorbikes (and drive) in London where speed limits were usually ignored in favour of keeping the same speed as the other traffic - doing otherwise would probably result in becoming a small grease-and-organic-goo spot on the tarmac..

                    (Going round Hyde Park Corner on a 12BHP 125cc bike was... educational. And gave me Buttocks Of Iron..)

                    1. Chloe Cresswell

                      Re: Good going cobber

                      handy learning for if you need to move a spaceship out the way of a pair of missiles though...

                  2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                    Re: Good going cobber

                    "If you can't stop your vehicle safely in the distance you can SEE, then you are going too fast."

                    "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule"

                    And if you are on a bike, fool usually equates to "short lived organism".

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Good going cobber

                      IF only those tin box drivers would not tailgate me when out on my bike. Yes, I have 150bhp available but not everyone riding a motorcycle wants to become an organ donor. I've now turned my GoPro around so it points behind me. The videos often show a 2m gap at close to 60mph (national limit speed on a single carriageway) . It if effing [redacted] scary.

                      Sometimes I have to just pull over and stop to let the idiots go on their way. OTher times a quick burst of speed privides some respite but it is amazing how quickly they catch up even when I've gone well over 60 for a bit and then slowed down to just over 60.(within 10% M'Lord).

                      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

                        Re: Good going cobber

                        Yep, motorbikes are terrifying alright. I'd a colleague who commuted 60 miles to London and back every day -0 took safety very seriously. After his second cuold-easily-have-been-fatal accident caused by someone else, his missus put her foot down and insisted he commute by train from then on. (Turns out that when a bunch of psychopathic scrotes deliberately rams you from behind at 50mph there's not much you can do about it... he reported having a memory of sliding across the opposite carriageway (in the face of oncoming traffic) and the next thing was waking up in a ditch having his clothing cut off by paramedics. No permanent damage fortunately but he was in traction for a couple of months.

                      2. MJI Silver badge

                        Re: Good going cobber

                        I reckon bikes are safer when you go faster as you can't get whacked from behind by a car.

                        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                          @MJI

                          "I reckon bikes are safer when you go faster as you can't get whacked from behind by a car."

                          Up to a point, yes :) Beyond that point the safety value (quite literally) drops off a cliff!

                          Taking an advanced riding course with an ex-police motorcyclist around the mountains of Wales made my car driving about 10x safer.

                          Scariest bit was when he was curing me of my comfort braking coming up to bends by having me ride down roads on the sides of mountains (with hairpin bends and such) *without* being able to use the brakes (engine braking only).

                          It's also worth noting that the bike has considerably more confidence at lower lean angles than you probably do, so if you feel like you're a bit hot in that corner, lean over a few more degrees. It sounds scary, but nothing like as scary as using the front brake and suddenly losing the ability to corner at all !!!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good going cobber

            "Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation"

            The behaviour of many local authorities in the UK would suggest otherwise.

            1. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: Good going cobber

              Not just the UK. I know of streches of road in France that have 200m 30Km/H streches of road in a 50Km/H or sometimes even 70Km/H road. Of course it's all for public safety and not revenue rasing.

              1. phil 27

                Re: Good going cobber

                I passed one the other week that went 90->70->30->70->90 in the space of 200m. The camera was hidden behind the old stone bridge forming it. And on the same journey I noted the police radar set up on the closing filter on a dual -> single carriageway stretch , just where a quick burst speed to finish that overtake of that artic before you run out of road might actually be safer. Clearly its about safety as you say.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  I passed one the other week that went 90->70->30->70->90 in the space of 200m.

                  I assume its not the UK then because you can't do 90 here can you? Also are you complaining they expected you to slow down whilst crossing an old stone bridge, which had a blind enough spot to hide a large speed camera?

          3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

            Re: Good going cobber

            Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation but to stop bad drivers speeding.

            Except those monitoring 30mph stretches which have been inserted along dual carriageways for no good reason, and on roads where the speed is inexplicably lower than what it would be presumed to be, and often was.

            1. Just Enough

              Re: Good going cobber

              How do you know they've been inserted there for no good reason?

              These stretches are usually there because they are historically accident black spots, or where pedestrians are particularly encountered. But bad drivers neither know nor care about that. They know better.

              1. Brenda McViking

                Re: Good going cobber

                Oh, we had a dangerous dual carriageway junction with a gap in the central reservation on a blind corner near us, and the speed cameras were put up after the 4th death. Then there was a 5th, and a 6th and they finally did what they should have done in the first place and engineered the solution using a roundabout.

                The speed cameras are naturally still there, as is the 40mph limit. All for a danger that has been eliminated, over 10 years ago, by a properly engineered solution.

                Plus the usual regression to the mean that the siting of speed cameras inevitably produces:

                Have an unusally high number of accidents in 3 years. Place speed camera. Have average number of accidents next 3 years. Conclude speed camera was the reason for the reduction in accident rate. More on that if you want to read it

                I'd have failed my degree statistics module if that was my reasoning.

                1. ZSn

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  The plural of anecdote is not data. There was a an absolutely dreadful stretch, the Haughley bends on the A14 in Suffolk, that I drove every day for three years. They put in speed cameras and the death rate dropped markedly. They're now taking out the bend in its entirety which should reduce the death rate to near zero. The fact that the works weren't done was because it will cost £32 million. However, the speed cameras were cheaper and reduction in speed that they enforced *really* improved it. Shame they left it in when they built it in the 70s.

                  When the French finally brought in speed cameras they caused a drop in the death rate of about 10%, so a few hundred people a year. People think that speed cameras are revenue generators, but every death costs the entire country a few million, not just in the clean up but the support to the family, lost productive life, etc, etc. Bad drivers who don't know how to drive slowly seem to think it's all about them.

                  1. Commswonk Silver badge
                    Thumb Up

                    Re: Good going cobber

                    The plural of anecdote is not data.

                    Now that is simply brilliant.

                  2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                    Re: Good going cobber

                    > There was a an absolutely dreadful stretch, the Haughley bends on the A14 in Suffolk, that I drove every day for three years. They put in speed cameras and the death rate dropped markedly. They're now taking out the bend in its entirety which should reduce the death rate to near zero.

                    Where'd you get your time machine? They took the bends out of the A14 years ago.

                    But yes, I also went up there daily (and still go up the new route now). The speed camera's were a mixed blessing, they reduced deaths, but because they were fixed point (rather than average speed), during congested periods you'd often find the queue in front would suddenly slam their brakes on as the lead driver gave their brakes a jab just to make sure they were definitely doing under 50.

                    It was one of the few locations (there's another near me) in the area that the cameras are/were actually definitively justified by the road layout.

                    The introduction of cameras on the Orwell bridge, on the other hand, seems to be an attempt to ignore the design failures in the surrounding junctions.

                  3. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Dave 15

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  Roundabout on a dual carriageway is the WRONG solution... a traffic jam and additional pollution from stopping the lorries (and roundabouts are certainly not low accident solutions).

                  What they should have done is a slip road and bridge - the basic flow would not slow

              2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
                Facepalm

                These stretches are usually there because they are historically accident black spots...

                Do the words "regression to the mean" mean anything to you?

                One accident does not a black spot make.

                1. David Nash Silver badge

                  Re: These stretches are usually there because they are historically accident black spots...

                  "One accident does not a black spot make"

                  Who on earth said it did?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: These stretches are usually there because they are historically accident black spots...

                    I'm going to give one example I am aware of that is absolutely revenue generation and no argument can be made that it is not, I can't speak of other councils but this one is a shark.

                    Someone I know came out of the pub drunk and got run over by a taxi. The council put up a speed camera where the accident occurred, however they also put one on the other side of round on a hill just after a bend with lots of tree cover and the big win is it's not bright colours to stop accidents it's the council dark emblem colour.

                    They also have speed camera's in the middle of industrial estates where you least expect them.

                    I'm sorry but speed camera's are for revenue and nothing else, if they wanted to stop accidents they would introduce traffic calming measures but lets be honest there is no money in that.

              3. nijam

                Re: Good going cobber

                > How do you know they've been inserted there for no good reason?

                Because it's usually been done by local authorities, who rarely have a good reason for anything.

              4. MisterD

                Re: Good going cobber

                See crashmap.co.uk

                Many of these stretches have no accidents, some are carefully positioned so that they are technically within a few metres of a school whilst being a long way away by road, just so the prosecution can say "speeding near a school"

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good going cobber

            "...and that 5 people a day on UK roads often caused by speeding"

            Wow, no wonder there are so many accidents if people start having sex while speeding?

          5. Smooth Newt
            WTF?

            Re: Good going cobber

            Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation but to stop bad drivers speeding.

            Yeah, they throw the money into the sea don't they.

            1. ZSn

              Re: Good going cobber

              *Yeah, they throw the money into the sea don't they.*

              If they didn't fine people, judging by the moralising that I see from the speeders here, they surely wouldn't slow down at all. Stick to the speed limit, handily printed in huge numbers in an easy to see format beside the road, and you won't get a ticket.

              1. IsJustabloke
                FAIL

                Re: Good going cobber

                "judging by the moralising that I see"

                The *only* moralizing going on in this thread is from you chum.

              2. Smooth Newt
                Meh

                Re: Good going cobber

                If they didn't fine people, judging by the moralising that I see from the speeders here, they surely wouldn't slow down at all.

                The fine is completely unnecessary from a punishment perspective, since the speeder also receives points towards losing their driving licence. So what is the function of the fine if it is not to claw in money and provide road safety partnerships with a moral hazard?

              3. Graham Dawson

                @ ZSn Re: Good going cobber

                I don't speed. I pay attention to the road and drive at an appropriate speed within the posted limit. You'll rarely see me doing more than 65 on the motorway.

              4. Dave 15

                Re: Good going cobber

                So if it isn't about revenue generation then use the points system. Too many times speeding and you lose your licence. If you are a dangerous bad driver you are no longer on the road and therefore everyone is safer. Do this and stop making money from them and suddenly the charge of revenue generation is clobbered. But do they do this? No... why not... because it is about revenue generation purely and simply.

                1. Tom Paine Silver badge

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  Eh? Last time I got done by a speed camera I got three points on my license too, surely that hasn't chenged in a decade? (i can't afford / justify a car any more :( )

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  Are all the admin staff involved in verifying the speeding offence and applying the points deduction to your licence volunteers or do they have to get paid a wage?

                  I'm sure there is a revenue element to it but it clearly costs them money so why shouldn't they try and recover some of that from the person who's breaking the law?

                  As a none driver I certainly shouldn't be paying for your prosecution out of my tax money.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Good going cobber

                  the revenue is less than the cost of taking the person to court and associated paperwork,

                  you'd be suprised how much the cost of action through court and the fine amount are subsidised by the taxpayer in the UK,

                  as, unlike the US, we cannot simply buy the verdict we require.

                  It's reported as "revenue" just like shops report "revenue", but look past the daily mail headlines and look at the "profit" after costs if any exists

            2. strum

              Re: Good going cobber

              >Yeah, they throw the money into the sea don't they.

              How else are they going to pay for scraping your victims off the road?

          6. IsJustabloke
            Stop

            Re: Good going cobber

            "You do know that the speed limit is 70mph"

            while I don't disagree with you overall, you need to stop thinking that speed = bad driving because it doesn't... Inappropriate Speed = bad driving

          7. Dave 15

            Re: Good going cobber

            Not revenue generators????????

            Off your head, they ARE revenue generators.

            Police chiefs are on record with comments about if you cut our funding we will raise more from speed cameras.

            Just look at where the cameras are and how they are hidden, deterrence? Not a chance they are positioned to catch the most people possible often when the danger spot is past (a very very good example is on the A14 just after the A11 has joined east of Cambridge, not before the junction where it might help but after the junction where there are 3 lanes to catch, and far enough after the junction for people to have recovered from the mess and started to speed up.

            The Suffolk boys also regularly put a mobile setup on the A11 at Red Lodge, apparently there was an accident on the north bound sliproad 10 years ago where a person got a bruise which justifies a speed camera on the southbound carriageway of the dual carriageway road...

            Yes in theory you can avoid the fine by not breaking the law, but in truth there are a number of laws which are frankly beyond sense and if we became like the Germans and did everything we are ordered the country is going from terrible to worse

            1. Dave 15

              Re: Good going cobber

              2 down... mmm, ok, explain why.

              The fixed camera is where I say... a good distance after the accident zone, in fact (confirmed by MP with the chief constable) on the border of how far from the accidents they could get away with.

              The A11 mobile camera situation is exactly as described

              Both are chasing revenue not safety.

              As I say elsewhere, if speeding is safety related then take the speeders off the road using the points system. If it is revenue related keep taking the fines, it is obvious and simple.

              Interestingly could probably do what the Germans do and leave large tracts of motorway with no speed limit, depending on the study you quote this has some safety down or some safety upsides, what it does is encourage people with fat wallets to spend a lot more on fuel and therefore fuel tax to show how fast they can go.

              Next argument of course is about the arbitrary nature of the number.

              In town the number 30 is chosen as some compromise between moving at all and killing any pedestrian you come across, the kid stepping off the pavement is not always a predictable occurrence (although I slow down for any group of kids, especially the young equipped with footballs).

              On a motorway the number 70 was not chosen for such reasons. At 70 if you hit a pedestrian you will kill them (not that you should find too many on a motorway). But now consider the safety peoples argument... at 69mph you are safe, at 71 you are magically unsafe. Now consider my Austin 7, the footbrake operates prestretched cables on the backwheels only (to operate front brakes use the handbrake), it has no airbags, no abs, vague steering, plywood and fabric for a body... if it could manage 69 (probably only down a very very long steep road with a tail wind and out of gear) it is a veritable death trap (indeed it is at 40). Compare that to an Aston Martin with airbags, abs, crumple zones,hydraulic multi caliper ceramic brakes... at 71mph that car can outstop anything you have a chance to see. Even allowing for the distance you travel while thinking the idea that breaking the speed limit of 70 is dangerous is obvious complete bollocks.

          8. Wilseus

            Re: Good going cobber

            "Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation but to stop bad drivers speeding"

            The fact that speed cameras raise money proves that they don't actually stop drivers speeding, does it not?

            I would also add that I still have little sympathy for those who do get caught, simply because each and every camera is clearly signposted. If you do get caught by a camera, it's because you aren't paying enough attention to the road signs.

      2. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Good going cobber

        Murdoch has people to do that for him.

        Yeah, they're called the readership.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good going cobber

      "Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation but to stop bad drivers speeding."

      If they can still see you, you aren't going fast enough! - Dan Dare

    4. MisterD

      Re: Good going cobber

      A man in his eighties gets his license for free, no money, only needs to fill in a form, why would he bother pressing send at all?

      A scrounger who wants other people to pay for his entertainment, whingeing, spreading disinformation. If you want to watch it, you pay for it, stop trying to force the rest of us to pay for what we don't need.

  2. Cody

    Theoretically you may not need a license just to have a TV set, but in practice you will not get away with just showing a connected device and claiming you never use it for live TV. Will not fly.

    Iplayer may be a much more complicates story, being that any computer is instantly capable of accessing it. In the end this will require proper authentication.

    1. Matt Ryan

      Of course you can - ignore all letters from the TV Licensing people and if (big if) someone from Crapita comes to the door, tell them to sod off.

      1. wolfetone

        "Of course you can - ignore all letters from the TV Licensing people and if (big if) someone from Crapita comes to the door, tell them to sod off."

        Crapita: *knock knock*

        You: *answers door*

        Crapita: "I see you pay no TV license because you don't want live TV or iPlayer, but you have a TV. Can I come in and see if you're telling the truth?".

        You: "You have a warrant?"

        Crapita: "Er, no?"

        You: "Then fuck off." *slam door in their face, sit down to watch Jeremy Kyle on ITV Hub*.

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Having to watch Jeremy Kyle seems a bit extreme as a punishment for not paying one's fair share.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cool - - - but

        If you take the annual TV ad revenue in the UK and divide that by the number of households, you get a number something like £150 per year.

        OK, this may be an oversimplification but try this: that advertising budget has to be funded from somewhere and that somewhere is generally a part of the price asked for whatever good or service is being advertised.

        Right, you may not ever buy or use a specific product. You might even say that, because it is advertised on TV you won't ever buy the product BUT, there will be plenty of companies using that product and they have pay for it. Once again, this cost is, ultimately, funded by the price of the good or service that company sells.

        You may need to make multiple steps down the food chain but, ultimately, the cost of TV advertising is met by us schmuks.

        And we pay. And we continue to pay.

        Even if we have a TV but claim not to watch broadcast TV

        Or even if we do not have a TV.

        And no-one seems to be mentioning about how unfair THAT is.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Cool - - - but

          Indeed the petition and demand to abolish the TV licence seems lacking in a plan. It would totally play into the pockets of Amazon, Netflix, Sky/Fox, so called Virgin (really UPS/Global Liberty) all of whom produce little content and content of a low common denominator, they are nearly parasites. YouTube (Google) is a content parasite.

          Certainly the present "enforcement regime" is totally wrong.

          Which content providers do they want to see taxed?

          P.S. I wondered was I on wrong thread. (Speeding etc)

          1. Dave 15

            Re: Cool - - - but

            Planning for a replacement? No need. If the bbc produced compelling and interesting content they could sell it either to other companies or as dvds, maybe with books. It is possible if people want your stuff. The issue is that 99.9% of the bbcs current output (or maybe 100%) is rubbish, why I don't bother.

            What annoys me is that I can't watch another more worthy provider without paying for the crap.

            The bbc should be forced to fund itself through selling product, advertising, subscription or per-program pricing (all frankly possible these days).The argument that this leads to a race to the bottom is crap as providers of interesting programs can testify.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Cool - - - but

              "What annoys me is that I can't watch another more worthy provider without paying for the crap."

              And if the TV licence was abolished would you then suddenly realise that you can't simply buy what you consider to be "not crap" without paying for loads of other crap? Every provider makes you pay for a selection of "channels", even ones you don't want and never watch. No matter who you pay for your TV content, you will be "subsidising crap" that you don't want to watch.

              Whether the TV License is a good or bad thing doesn't seem to be relevant here, because your argument seems to be that you only want t pay for what you think is worth paying for. The end result of that is that good, niche stuff won't get made, and some of that will be stuff you want to watch.

          2. Phil W

            Re: Cool - - - but

            "Amazon, Netflix, Sky/Fox, so called Virgin (really UPS/Global Liberty) all of whom produce little content and content of a low common denominator"

            I have to take issue with that. Amazon and Netflix (especially Netflix) produce quite a bit of quality content.

      3. Dave 15

        The capita bloke will show

        And demand to look round your house to prove you dont have a tv...

        Of course you aren't obliged to let him in and you will then be able to add to the collection of threatening letters (I package min up every few months and send to my MP).

        Eventually I expect to get a court backed requirement to show people around my house, not that it will prove much to them.

        Interestingly if you wanted you can write to them and deny them the presumed right of access onto your property - at which case they can't come up the garden path :)

        As you say iplayer complicates things, and I expect in the fullness of time the UK to adopt the German system where any household has to have a licence regardless of whether they even have electricity.

        Frankly given the drivel from what the BBC claims to be news and the pathetic level of programs I last witnessed visiting friends I would cut the obscene amounts they pay 'stars' (often it seems paedophile stars) by scrapping the whole lot. If they can't survive by selling their output on dvd and in books or from advertising then we can do without them.

        1. wolfetone

          Re: The capita bloke will show

          "Interestingly if you wanted you can write to them and deny them the presumed right of access onto your property - at which case they can't come up the garden path :)"

          Only lasts for 2 years, so every 2 years you'd have to send them the same bit of paper.

    2. Tachikoma

      Of course it "flies" I haven't paid for a TV license for years, they send someone over periodically, I catch them off guard by warmly welcoming them in, show the TV with PC/PS3/etc connected in one corner of the room, I show the neatly bundled aerial lead tucked away in the other corner of the room, never to meet and they wander out of the door looking all disgruntled. Naturally I alt+tab out of Kodi before answering the door.

    3. davealford

      If you don't watch live TV, live streams from Internet or iPlayer you don't need a license. END OF. If you're fined then you're finded for watching live TV, live stream or iPlayer -there is no 'getting away' with it. If you're not watching live TV, live streams or iPlayer you don't need a license and you wouldn't get 'caught' and fined as you wouldn't be watching them !

    4. myithingwontcharge

      "Theoretically you may not need a license just to have a TV set, but in practice you will not get away with just showing a connected device and claiming you never use it for live TV. Will not fly."

      Can you get points on a TV license? :-)

  3. Bob Rocket

    Privatise It

    Scrap the TV license and use a subscription, donation or advertising based model.

    Sell the BBC and its kit off.

    Make the licensing of TV/Radio broadcasting easier and cheaper so anyone can do it.

    Only places like the DPRK need a monopoly State Broadcaster.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Privatise It

      > Scrap the TV license and use a subscription, donation or advertising based model.

      We've got plenty of broadcasters that use that model, and they tend to churn out shit.

      1. Bob Rocket

        Re: Privatise It

        'We've got plenty of broadcasters that use that model, and they tend to churn out shit.'

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one mans meat is his alone and he should pay for it.

        I choose commercial output because there is nothing on the BBC channels I like yet I am forced to subsidise the BBC output.

        The truth is that the BBC would go broke in a week if it had to compete commercially and all those luvvies on massive salaries would be out of work.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Privatise It

          I hardly ever watch ITV, but I still have to pay for it through the advertising budget which is wound into the products I purchase in the shops. Or not, seeing as though I don't buy one get one free, or fox my bingo.

          1. Dave 15

            Re: Privatise It

            You pay for the advertising, the packaging, the shop, the staff, the delivery to the shop, the chairmans massive wage... if you don't like what is would in the price go and grow your own lettuce

            As for the BBC I would have to pay for it if I want to have a tv to watch videos... or would have to take steps to remove the antenna. I also can't watch discovery et al without paying for eastenders. If you have a subscription/advertising/pay per view/make money from merchandise/donation type model then you have the choice of satisfying many with crap or a few with better quality. This works in ALL other commercial fields from toasters to cars, from cafes to restaurants.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Privatise It

              I do grow my own lettuce. And I'm aware that the price of goods on the shelf includes a lot more than just the cost of advertising. What's your point?

              Did you know, the License Fee pays for more than just the BBC, and the BBC does more than just make TV programmes.

            2. Phil W

              Re: Privatise It

              "As for the BBC I would have to pay for it if I want to have a tv to watch videos... or would have to take steps to remove the antenna."

              Nope. You can own as many TVs, or other live broadcast reception capable devices, as you like without paying for a TV licence or having to remove their tuners. The licence is only required if you use the licensed functionality. If Capita knock on the door you simply say "I do not watch live TV or use iPlayer" or even write to them in advance saying the same.

              In the same way that you don't need a driving licence to own a car, only to drive it on public roads, and if you own a car you don't use on public roads you don't have to take the engine out of it to ensure you don't need a driving licence.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Privatise It

          "I choose commercial output because there is nothing on the BBC channels I like yet I am forced to subsidise the BBC output."

          And johnny up the road who doesn't have a TV is forced to subsidise your commercial channel choice by increased product prices when they advertise on the channels you watch.

    2. whileI'mhere

      Re: Privatise It

      It is not a monopoly (other broadcasts are available) and it is not a state broadcaster, being independent of any government of the day. Please rewrite your drivel taking account of these facts.

  4. WibbleMe

    The BBC have basically shot them selves,

    1) It supposed to be impartial... is it? Or does it support the Left?

    2) Does it produce content that the majority of people want to watch or does it tick boxes for political correctness?

    1. TheProf

      "Does it produce content that the majority of people want to watch "

      It does. In spades! Unfortunately it doesn't produce content likely to appeal to the SF loving technophile I imagine most ElReg readers are.

      1. ZSn

        Oi! Some of us like the classical music/history/science programmes. We're not all knuckle dragger around here!

        Admittedly the science programmes tend to be pitched at the 'o' level students but I guess that's what open university programmes are there for of you want a bit more depth.

        Oh and mock the week (bring back Frankie Boyle).

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          "Oh and mock the week (bring back Frankie Boyle)."

          Have I Got News For You (bring back Angus Deayton).

          1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

            bring back Angus Deayton

            Yes, but only occasionally. The idea of each show having a guest host was inspired and has given rise to some excellent exchanges.

            I live in high hopes of continued excellence in the next series

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Mock the Repeat?

          Have I got News for you (repeat) (nothing to do with current news)

          Great programs and probably the only thing I do watch from the BBC now but new episodes are rarer than rocking horse shite.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Repeats

            That's nonsense, with the exception of the news, all programmes have had repeats for decades. I would argue that the humour quality of those programmes makes repeats slightly more acceptable than repeats of the news.

            I don't see that there are any more repeats of the programmes you mention than other popular programmes. And clearly there has to be something to repeat, so new editions do come along regularly.

            HIGNFY for example has had 52 series. It's not 52 years old so that's plenty of series. That series had 10 episodes from Fri 7 Oct 2016 to Fri 16 Dec 2016 plus a best-of.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Repeats

              10 episodes covering 2.5 months, maybe 3 months if you watch their extra show that REPEATS bits form the last 2.5 months.

              Then the rest of the 9 months of the year, it is back to repeats of old versions talking about the news which is no longer news.

              Love the shows but think they should be more new episodes. These panels shows are pretty cheap to produce compared to others.

              Just Cohen screwed up a lot of the panels shows by insisting women are present in every episode, so they get stuck in like a token person. Not funny and half the time not got a clue what is going on.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Joke

            "Mock the Repeat?

            Have I got News for you (repeat) (nothing to do with current news)

            Great programs and probably the only thing I do watch from the BBC now but new episodes are rarer than rocking horse shite.

            Are you confusing the BBC with Dave?

          3. Kane Silver badge
            Joke

            "Mock the Repeat?"...

            "...but new episodes are rarer than rocking horse shite."

            Then your rocking horse needs a high fibre diet.

        3. Dave 15

          some of us like...

          Yes we do, pity the bbc has no real science, engineering, history or even real music left. And if you cut the licence out it might choose to go up market and cater for people who are not knuckle dragers on at least some of its programs.

          BTW radio 4 used to have some content but is now just an arts paradise - even when they try and cover science or engineering they find an author or painter rather than a scientist or engineer for the interview.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: some of us like...

            I'll just go and find my boss, the Professor of Neurology here at the hospital, and let him know that BBC 4 have cancelled the interview with him tomorrow evening. I reckon that two of the other Professors here, Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, must be having an affair because THEY disappeared together for the evening last year and used the excuse of recording an interview for the BBC World Service.

            Thank you for enlightening me as to what REALLY goes on to produce Science Programming on the radio and television.

          2. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: some of us like...

            The Life Scientific? Inside Science?

      2. James 51 Silver badge
    2. Jim84

      Public good

      Looking at the situation over the pond in the US where every political tribe has its own sheltered News Channel, I'd say the BBC is a public good in that it enables some reasonable measured debate and examination of politicians.

      In the wake of the Trump election result there has been a lot of hand wringing about fake news on social media. I think this is letting highly partisan news channels like FOX news off the hook to a large degree.

      They should just rename the TV licencing fee the "Independent Impartial Public Television News Fee".

      Everything in the US is driven by the need to retain the attention of viewers. Which leads to sensationalist news/candidates being able to dominate the news cycle. Having a news station that can safely ignore this bollacks and focus on issues that will actually affect people in the country (due to guaranteed funding) is a good thing.

      The BBC or anyone is never going to be perfectly impartial all the time, but they are a world better than FOX, MSNBC, CNN etc.

      1. dervheid

        Re: Public good

        No. The BBC does NOT operate for the 'Public Good'.

        It is not, nor has it ever been 'Impartial'.

        It is heavily biased towards the establishment status quo.

        It is, in effect, the televisual arm of The Ministry Of Truth.

        1. whileI'mhere

          Re: Public good

          I disagree about it not operating FOR the public good, but you fail to understand the subtle but important difference between "for the public good" and "a public good". Whatever your OPINION as to whether it operates in the public good or not, it is clearly a public good.

      2. Dave 15

        Re: Public good

        What????

        The BBC does not investigate any story in enough depth to provide any facts. Further most of its 'news' output is merely personal opinion or guess work. It fails to follow up on anything. Its constant bleating that it is impartial and provides information is demonstrably false. The BBC is no better han any of the american channels and it could be argued is worse than some. Once upon a time it might have done some real reporting but is does NOT now

        1. wolfetone

          Re: Public good

          "The BBC does not investigate any story in enough depth to provide any facts. Further most of its 'news' output is merely personal opinion or guess work. It fails to follow up on anything. Its constant bleating that it is impartial and provides information is demonstrably false. The BBC is no better han any of the american channels and it could be argued is worse than some. Once upon a time it might have done some real reporting but is does NOT now"

          This. Perfect response to what is actually going on with the BBC.

          Take yesterday for example, on International Womens Day. A huge protest outside parliament regarding the inequality of pensions women in this country suffer with.

          Did you hear that on the BBC? Of course you didn't. But I'm sure there are many people here reading it with partners affected by this, or parents, who I'm sure would want them to have that equality.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Public good

            > Take yesterday for example, on International Womens Day. A huge protest outside parliament regarding the inequality of pensions women in this country suffer with.

            >

            > Did you hear that on the BBC?

            Why yes, yes I did.

            Here's a link - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-39208516

            Here's one about the protests in "latin america" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-39190655

            Here's an advanced write-up not only of what International Womens Day is, but also of the planned protests - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-39153773

            I suspect if you're not hearing it on the BBC, you're probably not reading or listening in the right places.

            1. wolfetone

              Re: Public good

              "I suspect if you're not hearing it on the BBC, you're probably not reading or listening in the right places."

              You're totally correct. Silly of me to expect it on the 6 o'clock or 10 o'clock news.

    3. wolfetone

      "1) It supposed to be impartial... is it? Or does it support the Left?"

      Of course not. Continually kicking Corbyn yet have that dickhead Nutall parading his disgusting UKIP views on Question Time every bloody week it seems.

      So no. It doesn't support the left. It loves the right though.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        "1) It supposed to be impartial... is it? Or does it support the Left?"

        Clearly former Young Conservatives chairman Nick Robinson and Bullingdon boy David Dimbleby are Trotskyites intent on ushering in a workers' paradise.

    4. Just Enough

      > 1) It supposed to be impartial... is it? Or does it support the Left?

      The impartiality of the BBC can be proven by the fact that right-wingers always complain about it being a hot bed of politically correct luvvies, and left-wingers always complain about it being part of the privileged establishment.

      >2) Does it produce content that the majority of people want to watch or does it tick boxes for political correctness?

      Have you ever seen BBC1 Saturday Night telly? You don't get more mainsteam.

    5. MJI Silver badge

      Good reasons for BBC

      How about David Attenborough?

      Planet Earth 2 beat X Craptor final for viewing figures.

      Mainstream, high quality and the sort of stuff the BBC does best.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Good reasons for BBC

        The best indicator of their impartiality is that both the left and the right criticise the BBC, both accuse the BBC of supporting the opposing side.

        Love or loath the BBC it is a 1000 times better than any likely possible alternative.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Good reasons for BBC

          >The best indicator of their impartiality is that both the left and the right criticise the BBC, both accuse the BBC of supporting the opposing side.

          Tends to be on the basis of a single episode (or series) too.

          I think, overall, the BBC tends to be pretty impartial, but if you only watch one series you may perceive a slant.

      2. Dave 15

        Re: Good reasons for BBC

        IF it does good things then people would pay subscription/pay per view/buy merchandise (dvd, books etc)

        Then it would not need the licence

        There are plenty of examples of commercial organisations producing decent quality stuff for the discerning and making a living WITHOUT the benefit of an enforced poll tax.

    6. Patrician

      " It supposed to be impartial... is it? Or does it support the Left?"

      Considering I see complaints of bias on the BBC from both left and right wings I'd say that's proof of impartiality, wouldn't you?

      "Does it produce content that the majority of people want to watch or does it tick boxes for political correctness?"

      Yes it does, way more than it's commercial competitors, that seem to think that all everyone wants is yet more reality TV.....

      1. Wilseus

        "Considering I see complaints of bias on the BBC from both left and right wings I'd say that's proof of impartiality, wouldn't you?"

        Not really, no, because the bias that the BBC allegedly has is not one that can properly be defined in terms of Left or Right. In fact those two terms have very little meaning in mainstream UK politics these days. Much as they would both bitterly deny it, the Tories and the majority of Labour MPs have far, far more in common than the things they disagree on.

        The BBC's true bias is more of a cultural-liberal establishment one. That is why it is hostile to both Corbyn and to Nuttall: they are both a threat to the establishment. In the same vein, it's also far from impartial on things like Brexit, I've read loads of articles with the headline "such and such doing well, despite Brexit."

        And I'm speaking as someone who is firmly in favour of keeping the licence fee.

    7. David Nash Silver badge

      "Does it produce content that the majority of people want to watch "

      It does if you accept that this content is spread across all of the BBC's output. ie. no one programme is going to appeal to everyone (or even "the majority").

      But I bet even the rabid BBC-haters can find something on the BBC that they like, even if it's the weather forecast. And don't forget the web site. I bet all BBC-haters' kids have used the education stuff on there. Unfortunately that also means that said haters will also always find lots that they don't want to watch.

      One of the best things about the BBC is the minority output (and I don't necessarily mean typical minorities such as ethnic, sexuality or the like, I just mean stuff that only a small number of people want to watch). That is what would be under greatest threat if it was more commercialised.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Minority output is good, but mainstream they do well

        Quite a bit really. I like to watch Michael Portillos journeys., they are good, then the strange or unusual quizzes like Only Connect.

        Neither big but both worth watching.

        Main stream, some really good stuff, how about Death in Paradise? Or for sitcoms Not Going Out?

        Then they try stuff out like Taboo.

        As to main stream, imagine an ITV version of Strictly Come Dancing? They would be adding lots of shouting, Aantanddec, reality show nobodies, and Simon Cowell.

    8. IsJustabloke
      Meh

      Hmmm...

      "2) Does it produce content that the majority of people want to watch or does it tick boxes for political correctness?"

      I dunno about the majority but I watch BBC or netflix... I can count teh number of progs I watch on ITV on one hand... ITV shows always strike me as decidedly low rent

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: iTV low rent

        It is telling when you can count the ITV programmes you currently watch a week on one finger.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: iTV low rent

          It is telling when you can count the ITV programmes you currently watch a week on one finger.

          Broadchurch?

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: iTV low rent

            Well I did watch Benidorm last week - it was OK (wife recorded it).

            Not actually seen Broadchurch as I rarely watch channels with on screen logos, I purposely only record stuff not wrecked by on screen shit. Basically BBC, C4, and Film 4

      2. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...

        I initially missed out on Broadchurch as there's so much crap on ITV that I'd stopped checking what's on.

    9. Mage Silver badge

      Re: shot themselves

      Yes

      Too much reality TV, chasing ratings, and propaganda of various curious types. I don't think "left" or "right", it's more complicated.

      Too much fake science now.

      However BBC content and governance is a separate problem to TV licence. Here in Ireland we have a TV Licence (which applies if TV works, even if it's Analogue or 405 lines, or no aerial historically because of UK reception, Cable TV and MMDS. They nearly brought in TV licence in 1950s though Irish TV started late night 31st Dec 1961, basically 1962). Even RTE radio is dire, unless less you want what is on Lyric FM or the pop on 2FM.

      RTE is full of overpaid managers, overpaid cult of presenters and nearly no useful content. Irish people have Adverts on RTE *AND* have to pay TV licence even if TV is only used for Netflix. If it's a computer, it's liable for TV licence if it can get live TV.

      Careful what you wish for, it might be what Murdoch or Silicon Valley wants.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Irish TV

        When I was last over there all the office girls were discussing Eastenders.

        I think a lot of Irish people watch the BBC!

    10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "1) It supposed to be impartial... is it? Or does it support the Left?"

      You and the Right may think that. Oddly, the Left think the BBC supports the Right. Sounds like it's more or less in the centre then, so job done.

  5. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    If you actually look at the wording of the petition, you'll see it's written by someone with little, if any, grasp of the situation. "It should be included through your provider for free" he says. What provider? I don't have a provider, millions of people don't have a provider. Why should it be free? One way around it is to use the netflix model and open the market up to many countries, including of course the US. Then it'll be probably more like the £10 a month that netflix charges, saving £40 a year for households that want it. But then it won't be British-orientated so much.

    And it'll still cost something.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Megaphone

      "It should be included through your provider for free" - and remember, this has passed the MPs' sanity filter.

      Given the current political landscape, I think the MPs' sanity filter isn't what it's cracked up to be. Unless I've misunderstood and its job is to filter out sane things in which case it's working very well.

    2. Just Enough

      What provider?

      Could it be any more obvious that this was written either by an employee of Sky, or someone whose entire life revolves around its output? They cannot conceive of anyone not having some kind of contract with a media company and either a dish on the side of their house, or a cable. They've no idea that many watch TV through an aerial.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: What provider?

        So who will pay for me?

        Freesat?

        Freeview?

        Amazon?

        Two are free and one is streaming for CHM.

        Proof petition is stupid

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      "One way around it is to use the netflix model and open the market up to many countries, including of course the US. Then it'll be probably more like the £10 a month that netflix charges, saving £40 a year for households that want it. But then it won't be British-orientated so much."

      Nice idea, probably can't be done. The BBC rarely holds worldwide rights for the programmes it shows. Something like iPlayer might work, if all of the licences can be acquired, but for the actual channels it would be more or less impossible to negotiate the licences.

      1. Dave 15

        Simple fix

        If the BBC either commissioned work with the explicit requirement it had a worldwide licence or just produced its own then it would not have a problem.

        If it was reasonably successful at providing a solution for people to watch for a subscription/payperview/dvdsales based income then people would be very willing to provide content (I don't see youtube, apple or andoid lacking content)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Simple fix

          "If the BBC either commissioned work with the explicit requirement it had a worldwide licence or just produced its own then it would not have a problem."

          Yes it would. The price for the commission is based on selling the UK rights to the BBC, usually for a limited time. That's why iPlayer programmes sometimes are only available for a few weeks or months. The production company can then sell the broadcast rights around the world. If the BBC were to try to commission programmes and grab worldwide rights, it would cost significantly more. They can only do that with the stuff they make themselves.

  6. Lee D Silver badge

    Please list any action taken (beyond "discussing it") about any of the Parliamentary petitions whatsoever.

    And how much happened compared to how many petitions are made every day. If there's even 0.1% that actually result in anything beyond talk whatsoever, I'll be incredibly surprised.

    Like when I was back in school and the pupils petitioned for all kinds of ridiculous things, it doesn't matter how many people sign, nothing happens at all.

    In the most extreme cases, lip service is paid to having a discussion about the issue, and literally nothing happens after that anyway.

    It's a total waste of everyone's time.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Please list any action taken (beyond "discussing it") about any of the Parliamentary petitions whatsoever.

      That is hard but they do influence those deciding things and do consequently affect outcomes. They are not entirely pointless or a waste of everyone's time; even if it is difficult to discern where a petition has had impact.

      The 'deny Trump a state visit' petition did not succeed, and I doubt anyone actually expected it to, but it does appear to have influenced when that visit will occur and how it will be. It also enabled MPs and others to speak out with the confidence that a huge number supported them in speaking out.

      I can recall legislation and proposals which seemed to have been influenced by petition and public outcry but I'll admit I can't list it; I don't track such things. Disbanding the Red Arrows, Gurkhas, refugees and Tax Credits come to mind but I might be wrong.

  7. Zmodem

    30,000,000 * 145 = £4,350,000,000 and still absolutely nothing on the BBC to watch, get rid of the licence and the BBC and the country will be better off

    thats an extra £4,350,000,000 for the NHS instead of bothering to leave the EU

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      OK I'll feed the Trolls.

      Even if you don't like what's on the BBC most people do like most of it. The Fee isn't part of income tax and won't go to the NHS. Murdoch's (et al) lowest common denominator TV would remove anything that might stir a couple of brain cells and nothing would ever be broadcast that differed from those proprietor's world view.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yours is really the standard pro argument

        1) Murdoch does not have a monopoly.

        2) Other channels have demonstrated non advertising models.

        3) The BBC is not impartial, just not.

        4) By definition you cannot please all the people all the time.

        So essentially, since you don't pay for my HBO subscription, why should I pay for your BBC. You can have it but YOU pay for it.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

          @ jeremy 3

          "So essentially, since you don't pay for my HBO subscription, why should I pay for your BBC. You can have it but YOU pay for it."

          1000 times this. It amazes me that the BBC is so important to so many people and so well loved right up until someone suggests they pay for it. If it is so wonderful then people will surely choose to pay for it instead of charging those who dont use it.

          *And now for the downvotes to make my point

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: the BBC is so important to so many [...] right up until someone suggests they pay for it.

            Erm, I pay my TV license, as do lots of people.

            So, just out of curiosity, do you have an estimate of the numbers of these "so many people" who love the BBC but refuse to pay? Are they a significant fraction of BBC viewers/listeners? Or was your statement just some kind of rhetorical device?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: the BBC is so important to so many [...] right up until someone suggests they pay for it.

              @AC

              "So, just out of curiosity, do you have an estimate of the numbers of these "so many people" who love the BBC but refuse to pay? Are they a significant fraction of BBC viewers/listeners? Or was your statement just some kind of rhetorical device?"

              Interesting fail that shows a lack of understanding or a hope that your comment isnt thought about too hard. First about those who love but dont pay, isnt the BBC IPlayer now insisting people must have a TV license because people would watch the show instead of buying a license to watch it live? But back to the actual point you seem to avoid which is yes you pay your TV license but NO you dont pay enough for your service. Instead people who dont watch the BBC but watch other live TV services they actually want to still have to pay for YOUR service.

              So my comment stands. If those who dont use the BBC didnt have to pay the TV tax then you would have to pay the BBC the actual price of your service. While those people would see their bill reduce by the cost of the TV tax.

          2. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

            "just pay for it"

            er. we do. I pay my licence fee.

            1. Zmodem

              Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

              why would you want to waste £10 on nothing, when you have to pay for sky, netflix, prime, etc which you actually use and have something to actually watch

              the only time the bbc is important is if a nuclear bomb drops, and then nobody will know about it because nobody watches the bbc

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

            If it is so wonderful then people will surely choose to pay for it instead of charging those who dont use it

            Ok, I'll bite here

            If you live in some African countries, the BBC radio is the only non-dictatorship station you can hear, who is going to collect their subscriptions?

            During the wars (inc Iraq and Falklands, many people only knew what was happening due to the BBC services), are you prepared to collect the money in Mosul?

            The Open University is also a product of the BBC

            So stop thinking that Eastenders and TOWIE are the whole world and look around you

            So I take it your kids will never watch CBeebies or CBBC?

            1. Zmodem

              Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

              ITN is better for war coverage, soldiers are all regular people, and ITN does the news on all their channels that watch so ITN get all the insider stuff and they did'nt carry on talking for 5 mintues about nothing much when the first tower started to fall on 9/11 before they realised

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

          "So essentially, since you don't pay for my HBO subscription, why should I pay for your BBC"

          If all you use is HBO you can avoid paying the licence fee - I don't mind!

          I also don't mind that some of my licence fee is spent on collaborative projects with HBO that I'll probably never watch - I hope you enjoy them.

          I have to say though if you've never watched Monty Python or Life on Earth or Trumpton or Fawlty Towers or Talking Heads or Bagpuss or The Day Today or House of Cards or Threads or Blackadder or Ivor The Engine or The Sky At Night or I Claudius or Arena or Horizon or Paddington Bear then you are really missing out.

          But I totally get why someone who never liked any BBC TV or Radio shows from their earliest years right through to adulthood would resent paying for the BBC just so that the majority can enjoy it and I can only apologise for all the subsidised entertainment I've had at your expense. I mean I've always thought that I'd pay 40p a day just for Test Match Special so to get all that other stuff on top and have you pay for it - well I'm overwhelmed with gratitude.

          I realise it's no financial recompense and that's obviously much more important than anything else but I hope that the knowledge that you've played your part in me having a better and happier life than I might otherwise have had does at least lift your spirits a tiny amount.

          Thank you. Thank you so much. I'll be sure to think of your selflessness and generousity when I am watching Fleabag later in the week.

          1. Dave 15

            Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

            My son and daughter both watched trumpton (as I did). I had to buy the DVD in order for that to happen (you can't see it on the BBC now. This is NOT an excuse to charge me for the BBC. The BBC could have produced such programs and sold the dvd, subscription, pay per view option (perhaps even provide it pay per view online along with all the other content I can't get on dvd or youtube), and make money to produce new content.

            Other commercial setups can provide quality without the need for everyone to share in subsidising it. If I want a Jaguar I can go and pay for it (well at least in theory) or I could choose to buy a cheap alternative. The choice should be mine. What I should not have to do is buy a Jaguar so that I am allowed to buy a Nissan!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

              > " If I want a Jaguar I can go and pay for it (well at least in theory)"

              With the BBC you have the Jaguar of programming (and the Transit Van, the Hovercraft, the stretch limo, the Reliant Robin, the Jumbo Jet, and the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) because collectively we can make it happen.

              I understand the potential unfairness of people paying for something they simply never use but I'd have a lot more sympathy for that argument if the product was actually bad.

              It just seems like people are willfully seeking out a situation whereby they have to pay the licence fee because they like watching television but don't use the BBC - it's about as plausible as objecting to subsidising the provision of potable water because you only drink, cook, and clean your teeth with Evian and don't need drinkable water just to flush your excrement away.

              It stretches credulity beyond tolerance that any significant number of keen watchers of television are unable to find anything of interest on the BBC.

              For those genuine exceptions who self-identify as notBBC, sorry, it's another example of perfect fairness being too inefficient to be practical. We understand the cause, if perhaps not the extent, of your anger and if we can work out a better way of doing things so that you can be less unhappy without bringing too much inconvenience to the majority we will be delighted.

              In the meantime do keep checking back with the BBC TV, radio, and internet services from time to time in case any of its new, or indeed repeated, programmes do appeal - as you are paying for it anyway you might as well give it a go.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

                @AC

                "I understand the potential unfairness of people paying for something they simply never use but I'd have a lot more sympathy for that argument if the product was actually bad."

                "It stretches credulity beyond tolerance that any significant number of keen watchers of television are unable to find anything of interest on the BBC."

                Hand waving here. Nothing of interest. Stuff I could possibly force myself to watch but nothing to justify parting with any money for. And that doesnt mean the product is bad just as some people choose one mobile phone over another, it is personal preference and freedom of choice. And while basic water supply is a good thing to cover the necessity of water for living and clean water being part of that necessity there is no way to claim the BBC is essential.

                "For those genuine exceptions who self-identify as notBBC, sorry, it's another example of perfect fairness being too inefficient to be practical. We understand the cause, if perhaps not the extent, of your anger and if we can work out a better way of doing things so that you can be less unhappy without bringing too much inconvenience to the majority we will be delighted."

                Interesting bull to justify someone else paying for your entertainment. Funny how so many broadcasters exist without TV license and the BBC requires it to survive. Efficiently if you want it you can pay for it. Very simple and very practical. It is less practical to charge anyone who watches live broadcasts as the technology to receive is not so licensed but the activity is, and the activity can be done through a number of mediums which are not and cannot be tracked leading to inefficient practices such as sending people around to peoples homes to threaten them. So money could surely be saved by not employing these thugs and instead encrypting the signal requiring the watcher to actually pay for their service without forcing anyone else to. But BBC lovers wont like that as the cost goes up.

                "In the meantime do keep checking back with the BBC TV, radio, and internet services from time to time in case any of its new, or indeed repeated, programmes do appeal - as you are paying for it anyway you might as well give it a go."

                Since the money is being scammed from you for not watching the BBC why not come check out the BBC in case there is something you do like. Ha. Victim blaming or just rubbing their faces in it? Personally I ditched TV as Sky had some good shows but I had no intention of paying the BBC to watch often repeated shows when I can just buy the DVD and watch as often as I want.

                1. Zmodem

                  Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

                  the BBC is terrible, with £4,350,000,000 to spend every year, you think you could afford good movies like film 4 and horror, and some good programs like channel 5 and spike

                  1. MJI Silver badge

                    Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

                    Film 4 actually produce films as well.The main reason they show films is that they are a film channel. Lots of older films, with a few more recent ones repeated a lot.

                    Channel 5 produce good programmes? Name them.

            2. whileI'mhere

              Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

              ... Jaguar ... Nissan...

              You do realise that your unypothecated taxes are to some extent subsidising both, don't you. What all the licence fee haters seem to hate more than the BCC is hypothecated tax. But we need it to be hypothecated to PREVENT it becoming the state broadcaster, or the LCD ad-fest of US TV example.

          2. Dave 15

            Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

            There are better funding means - pay per view, subscription, advertising, any acceptable though I would prefer the first two without any adverts.

            The most objectionable things about the licence fee:

            The amount paid from it to 'stars' all of whom could simply be replaced.

            The assumption that everyone should have a licence followed by the threatening letters and visits if you dare to be one of the few to buck the trend.

            The requirement to have a licence so that I can then watch OTHER TV from other providers.

        3. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

          So essentially, since you don't pay for my private health insurance, why should I pay for your NHS treatment? You can have it, but YOU pay for it. That is what you wanted to do with the £billions isn't it? Put it into the NHS even though there are alternative funding models for health care provision? I'm reading that right, aren't I?

          1. Zmodem

            Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

            "since you don't pay for my private health insurance, why should I pay for your NHS treatment?"

            the NHS will still be the people who pick you up in a ambulance after you have dialed 999 in an emergency and take you to your private health care after treating you on the way

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: the NHS will still be the people who pick you up in a ambulance

              Which was my point. You do actually use the BBC even if you don't realise it. For example the BBC overseas monitoring that provides translated news feeds of interesting items on foreign stations to the government and to news feeds. Another example is the technological developments that they come out with, NICAM for example.

          2. Dave 15

            Re: Yours is really the standard pro argument

            Yes there alternative funding models for health:

            The Germans have you use a 'private' health insurer (either privately or via compulsory basic insurance) - it costs more than the NHS and due to the fiddles and back handers makes a huge number of doctors and an even larger number of chemists extraordinarily rich (which is why there are more chemist shops in Germany than any other shop).

            In USA you can buy health insurance if you are rich enough, if you aren't you die.

            Comparing the NHS with BBC is really apples and pears territory anyway. The BBC is funded with a non-ability to pay related fee and the proceeds squandered on giving the likes of Clarkson and some of the even less desirable 'stars' more money than enough. And as for your private health insurance - fine, if the government were to choose to give you the NHSfunding back (as they did with pensions in Thatchers day) I would have no issue with that.

      2. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

        if you like watching the beeb, pay for it.

        just stop them sending goons round wanting to search my house for non existent televisual apparatus. I haven't got any because TV is bilge for the brain dead.

      3. Zmodem

        most people like the bbc, like 10,000 or so, don't need income tax, you can just put national insurance up £10 a month instead of everyone paying the bbc

        knowing you won't die because you have a broken finger is better then having nothing at all for your money

      4. Dave 15

        I will bite

        OK, assume that you are right and most people like the content on the BBC then most people would pay to watch it (they do with the licence...) thus you could fund the bbc from all those who love it just by getting them to payperview or pay a subscription. Thus you dont need a licence at all!

        Second the lowest common denominator argument does not hold water at all, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, various other companies and brands exist and are profitable from NOT offering lowest anything.

        If the bbc chose they could very easily take an approach to provide payperview or subscription, perhaps even a number of channels or types of program to suit both those with no brain cells to stir, those who like science, those who enjoy engineering, those who want properly researched news (the bbc would need to change its journalistic staff for that) and even those weird folk who like 'the arts'.

        Above all it means that I could choose what to watch and what to pay for instead of either being forced to not have TV or (worse) to pay my hard earned so that some crass and stupid individual can be paid millions a year to mess up reading someone elses script (think of all the stars) or even more perversely get paid a fortune so they can demand to have helicopters or chauffeured transport while they touch up other peoples sons and daughters.

        1. Dave 15

          Re: I will bite

          Very good right up until the idea the BBC has people of the knowledge and calibre to deliver meaningful science or engineering programs. Just look at Rory Apple Jones

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      How much does commercial TV turn over. How much is that per household and from where does that money ultimately come? Remember, you may not buy a specific good or service but you are sure to be feeding the overall figure, either directly or indirectly even if separated by many steps (and their profit margins on cost)

      1. Dave 15

        oh God the advertising argument again

        So you pay for the company selling you washing powder to advertise on TV, you ALSO pay for them to design packaging that means you recognise it, logos, brand names, transport to the shop you buy it from, the advertising billboards, the newspaper and magazine adverts, the shop assistant, the shop roof....

        This is NOT an argument to FORCE me to pay for the BBC in order to see adverts on ITV!!!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Theoretically you may not need a license just to have a TV set, but in practice you will not get away with just showing a connected device and claiming you never use it for live TV. Will not fly.

    If (for example) you own a TV that's connected to a satellite dish and you have an active Sky subscription then, by the letter of the law, you don't need a licence if you never watch live TV. This however is going to be very hard for you to defend in court and would be pretty stupid anyway.

    If you own a TV that's connected to a media PC / console / DVD player and isn't connected to an aerial, then this isn't even grounds for Crapita to seek a search warrant.

    As noted by MR the best tactic if you are legally without a licence is to just bin Crapita's threat-o-grams and refuse to answer the door to them.

    I own a TV and I've quite legally not had a TV licence for three or four years. I don't think I've even had one of their doorstep salesmen, although I did see one of their G4S stooges lurking around one morning. So yes, it flies very well thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If (for example) you own a TV that's connected to a satellite dish and you have an active Sky subscription then, by the letter of the law, you don't need a licence if you never watch live TV. This however is going to be very hard for you to defend in court and would be pretty stupid anyway."

      I don't see how that would even fit the letter of the law since the BBC channels are broadcast on Astra as DVB-S2 streams on adjacent channels to the sky ones, and every piece of "sky" hardware out there is capable of recieving and displaying them. In fact, I would bet you could make a good argument if the BBC channels weren't on astra and added as a sort of not mentioned valued added bit, then Sky would have been stillborn as a commercial operator.

      I'd like to see HYS closed on the bbc website though. Its really just a place for professional influencers to steer people with quick soundbites and a reason free discussion zone on any topic "opened up" to it. And god, the rest of the world might judge everyone by the mindless hate and intolerance poured out on there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > I don't see how that would even fit the letter of the law since the BBC channels are broadcast on Astra as DVB-S2 streams on adjacent channels to the sky ones

        Point kinda missed...

        The law says that it's not legal to receive the TV transmission as it's broadcast. So you can (in theory) have a whole Sky set up, or a Virgin one, or a plain old aerial all plugged in and tuned without breaking the law. If you don't actually use it then you are not committing an offence.

        It's a ludicrous example that would be next to impossible to defend in court, but it's an important distinction that Crapita like to blur. The law says nothing about owning any equipment capable of receiving the live broadcast, it's strictly about using said equipment to do so.

  9. graeme leggett

    comparisons

    "though those are drops in the ocean compared to the sums handed over to the BBC"

    Sky (Europe wide - 21 million subscribers) revenue £10 billion or so

    BBC ( UK pop ) £6 billion, including £1 billion from commercial activities (BBC Worldwide)

    ITV plc (ditto) £3 billion

    CH4 corporation £1 billion

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: comparisons

      So how come BBC provide so much good stuff for so much less than Sky?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: comparisons

        So how come BBC provide so much good stuff for so much less than Sky?

        Not controled by a monopolist with delusions of grandeur?

        (There are two reasons why I have Sky - I live in the shadow of a hill + buildings that means the only mast that I can get a good signal from is blocked almost completely and I like the NFL so get Sky Sports from September to February. The rest of the time 90% of what I watch is BBC channels or stuff made by the BBC..)

      2. Just Enough

        Re: comparisons

        >So how come BBC provide so much good stuff for so much less than Sky?

        Because they don't pay astronomical amounts to finance multi-millionaire football clubs.

        1. Zmodem

          Re: comparisons

          they provide nothing, they are a complete waste of time

          i have'nt watched anything on the bbc since the south west was able to get channel 5 and nascar was on all night, back in the end of the 90s, i just delete them off my tv and im missing nothing

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: comparisons

      "Sky (Europe wide - 21 million subscribers) revenue £10 billion or so"

      Considering that broadcasting is still pretty much geo-locked, especially for broadcast rights purchasing, that's a specious comparison. You need the UK subscriber figures and revenue.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: comparisons

        I went with the data I could readily find at the time. Looks like UK Sky has been reported around 12 million.

  10. Commswonk Silver badge

    Typical Politician... Wrong Target

    "Current Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has said little publicly about the TV Licence since her appointment last summer, though she reportedly summoned BBC director general Tony Hall to explain why Capita's salesmen were being promised cash bonuses of £15,000 a year in return for finding 28 non-licence fee payers per week."

    If she really did ask that then I hope Tony Hall responded along the lines of "that question is for Crapita to answer, not me".

  11. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    Impartial???

    I see people on here claiming the Beeb is lefty, righty and establishmenty. I can't think of a better description of an Impartial media group than one that each person sees as against their personal view of the world. I love the BBC and if/when it is killed off by the haters I will mourn the group that permitted the creation of Monty Python, Blackadder, Dr Who, Red Dwarf, Top Gear and so on. Yes it is a bureaucratic monster and needs better (apolitical) oversight, but is worth every penny of the license fee and then some.

    I could care less about adverts as like most people I can tune them out or fast-forward but the advertisers affect what gets broadcast to the point that you just end up with endless quiz shows and other sensationalist shite. Many people are so bored of the advertisements that they run ad-blockers and I am starting to think that way too, so I may have to investigate a TV ad-blocker. We are all sick to the teeth of Gambling/Makeup/Detergent ads.

    On the web the worst are sites where the adverts take ages to load (pay ATTENTION The Register!) and slow the whole web-browser down.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Impartial???

      Robot Wars is back on, so I hear. Now if THAT isn't SF fan / Techy fodder, I don't know what is. I would like to see an AI robot battle in the Robot Wars arena, though. Maybe with a self-navigating maze race. Whatever happened to that kids version? Digitbots or something? Olympics style contests for software robot designs/

  12. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    Skip the license fee

    We did that and the money needed comes from the budget a bit like with the army. The downside is of course that all those persons with that healthy profession walking around knocking on doors lost their jobs. The cash bonuses of £15,000 a year I find very disturbing, next you will have "report your neighbour and you could win £15,000".

    I agree with Big Boomer, you can still feel proud about the BBC. It's the influence of guys like Murdoch you should worry about.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Skip the license fee

      > We did that and the money needed comes from the budget a bit like with the army.

      But then all the people whinging about the license fee will complain all the more because they're worse off.

      At the moment, you can opt out of paying the license fee by not having a TV connected to the aerial and not using BBC. If we fund it from general taxation instead, then that choice will be taken away from you ;)

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Skip the license fee

        "At the moment, you can opt out of paying the license fee". Yes, but I have now been allowed to totally opt out of this whole license fee question. There was a dog tax too long ago. Why mess around with silly things for no good reason, why add to the bureaucracy. And besides those who can hardly pay any tax can watch for free as far as I am concerned.

        PS. the way to opt out cleverly was to newer opt in.

  13. Korev Silver badge

    Could be worse

    Here in Switzerland the TV and radio Licence is about £360 and the quality is pretty crap. They'll get you if all you have is an internet connection or a radio in your car.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Could be worse

      Well somebody has to fund the national infrastructure...

    2. Ellipsis

      Re: Could be worse

      … and unlike in the U.K., it’s ownership of any device capable of reception that makes you liable for the fee.

      But if “all you have is an internet connection or a radio in your car” – and no Internet TV service accounts – you don’t have to pay the TV fee. (Yet. That will change in a couple of years’ time…)

  14. Velv Silver badge

    If households are going to be charged a fee for the provision of a public service television then why not just add it to the council tax bill for each property?

    And before you say "but I don't have a TV so I shouldn't pay", I don't have kids but I still need to pay for the local schools.

  15. malfeasance

    For the public good

    The question is really : is a public broadcaster like the BBC considered a public good. If it is then we should pay for it. Much like we pay for schools, the NHS etc. Plenty of people have no kids and still pay for schools because they know it serves a greater good.

    Do I think that the BBC is worth paying for absolutely yes. The Aussie state broadcaster is fucking awful as is the Irish one.

    What do I get from something like 'In our time'. Nothing; but something like it needs to exist.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Okay mr lets tax everyone regardless.. because reasons?!!?

    If everyone is happy in paying the tax er.. sorry 'licence' every year, then everyone should be happy paying a subscription right?

    If the BBC is producing content that you like then you should be happy to paid the same amount of money as a subscription rather than a tax.

    All the supposedly good shows the BBC produces would also be commercially viable right?

    So not only would they get the income from the subscription they could sell the shows as they already do.

    So why do we have this archaic tax system? It really makes no sense!

    And all the counter arguments I've seen on here to continue the tax are either bias or simply wrong.

    Its frankly not a million miles away from the Film and Music industry refusing to move with the times, where they punish people who dont want to used their old models for product. And they come off looking like complete bullies.

    Turn the BBC subscription based, near complete digital format and sell it world wide, then you wouldnt need to tax the people of one tiny island nation who have less and less money each year.

    Kodi streams appear to be in all the news at the second, but yet the providers STILL refusing to see the potential markets.. it frankly boggles the mind.

    The growth of Netflix and Amazon Prime show that the model does work and yes they do provide some really good content, more REAL competition would be a good thing and even though I dont watch the BBC all that much I do believe it would be a good standard with which the market would have to compete against.

    But to get to that stage we first really have to stop living in 1977.

    1. whileI'mhere

      Re: Okay mr lets tax everyone regardless.. because reasons?!!?

      You use that term "commercially viable" like it is the only criterion. There things that are a social good. I want there to be an efficient transport system that adds to the economic and social health of the country, even though I rarely use it, because I want it to be there when I actually DO need to use it. So I am not enamoured of the "marketise everything" approach that says all railway costs must be borne by passengers. You sound like one of those neo-liberals who knows the price of much but the value of almost nothing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Okay mr lets tax everyone regardless.. because reasons?!!?

        "You use that term "commercially viable" like it is the only criterion."

        Because in a FREE market it is, if it is successful then it is popular, if it isnt then its not, people will pay for what is worth paying for, everyone on here keeps saying that the BBC is worth paying for because they paid their TV licence, well okay then IF it is so good and provides goof quality of service, then changing to a voluntary subscription rather than a tax you must opt out of and prove time and again of your innocence would be a better thing all round surely.. you know having the money to go into programming rather than spending it on people going round with Vans and other unneeded bureaucratic positions, and instead of throwing people into jail for not paying, you just cut them off (seriously why are people really supporting a system where throwing someone in jail is an option, anyone here heard of anyone going to jail for not paying their sky/virgin bill?) which would also help keep court and prison costs down.. or is that something else that we shouldnt do?!

        "I want there to be an efficient transport system that adds to the economic and social health of the country,"

        So.. you want an efficient system, but you think that best way to achieve that is to throw every ones money at it?!

        efficient system do NOT require, tax money or protectionism. in fact doing that makes them inefficient!

        So your argument makes no sense.

        And neo-liberals do not need to know the price of anything, because free markets will determine what that is at a fair economical price, and Value is attributed to those things that have worth, Commercially and/or Socially. But please dont stop that from using sneering cliches'

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see your request for a TV licence

    And raise you a VPN...

  18. sawatts

    £147 is still a fraction of what I've been spending annually on Sky or Virgin over the years, and currently paying half that each for Amazon Prime and Netflix. Still end up watching BBC mostly.

    For that matter, back in the 80s I remember an estimate that the advertising costs ITV (etc) where worth £400 pa to the average household.

    So nothings free, but the license fee seems cheap.

    That said, the percentage of new content on all channels is dismal.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm paying for a license, but only because it's so vague as to whether I need one and I don't want to go to court over it. Everything I watch is online, and then it becomes a question of what is or isn't "TV". This situation can't continue, it must be clarified. IMO the BBC should not be paid for stuff I watch online which is nothing to do with them.

    I also don't like the BBC political bias. Why should I pay for a company to push a political agenda I strongly disagree with? How can that be legal?

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