back to article Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has said his party will vote down any Parliamentary changes to the TV Licence fee, following the Conservatives entering coalition talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. Yesterday afternoon Watson wrote to Conservative culture secretary Karen Bradley to "defend" the BBC "against …

  1. Cronus

    I never thought I'd support one of the DUP's policies but hey, waddya know.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Guido ran a piece of 10 manifesto policies of the DUP that the Tories should nab.

      Some actually decent stuff there. Some properly demented stuff too, so I'm told ( I haven't read the full thing ).

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Some actually decent stuff there. Some properly demented stuff too, so I'm told ( I haven't read the full thing ).

        That would pretty much describe every parties manifesto, to be fair. Like Horoscope's, they are designed to have enough that everybody can identify with. Also like Horoscope's they tend to get ignored as soon as they are finished with (ie, in power).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, yes. Lord Buckethead's manifesto wasn't completely lunatic either.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Yes, well I suppose from where Guido's standing, the DUP doesn't look bad at all.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Give me a call when any of it is legally binding with a forfeit of removal from their seat if they fail to deliver adequate progress towards it, measured at least annually by an independent party, and able to be triggered by public pressure if they look like they're not delivering.

      Until then, they can promise to give me the world on a stick and it makes absolutely no difference.

      No other job in the world can you get away with saying you'll do something, not do it for four years, and then get re-hired on the basis of promising to do it "this time around".

      1. 's water music Silver badge
        Devil

        No other job in the world can you get away with saying you'll do something, not do it for four years, and then get re-hired on the basis of promising to do it "this time around".

        Almost every job I have experience of involves promising to do stuff and then spending the rest of the allocated time coming up with excuses for why it didn't get done (always with the passive voice...)

        1. Triggerfish

          No other job in the world can you get away with saying you'll do something, not do it for four years, and then get re-hired on the basis of promising to do it "this time around".

          Hell one of 'em lost his seat, and then went bitching about only 35K redundancy.

          Lost seat = Fired for being incompetent, and still gets redundancy? and then whinges at an amount that's more than the average wage.

          As my friend used to say.

          Shithouses the lot of them.

  2. Bottle_Cap

    Nice to see a religious cult with 10 (ten count 'em!) MP's is gonna be pulling the strings.....

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      They're all cults.

      You've got the Socialism Cult, the Free Market Cult, the EU Cult, the Green Cult.

      I'm think I'm spelling cult correctly.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        "They're all cults."

        Would that be as in Jeremy Cult? Or that Cult Hoon?

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        Yes, but not "I'm think" correctly.

        1. Natalie Gritpants

          Upvotes for this clearly erroneous comment? "I'm think" is spelt correctly. Makes no sense but it is spelt correctly.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. smot

            @Natalie Gritpants

            Possibly not - perhaps it should read "I'm thick, I spelt cult correctly".

          3. Hans 1 Silver badge

            Upvotes for this clearly erroneous comment? "I'm think" is spelt correctly. Makes no sense but it is spelt correctly.

            Mr. Think, my thoughts exactly!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Environmental sustainability isn't a cult though. If you genuinely see it as such, it's probably because you're too far gone to the consumerism cult.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          'Environmental sustainability isn't a cult though.'

          No, but it doesn't follow that the Green Party isn't one. Otherwise they wouldn't have such an idealogical hatred of nuclear power plants for starters.

          1. Uffish

            Nuclear Power Plants

            Come off it, the Green Party is, quite realistically, a protest / advocacy outfit and so it will almost automatically advocate alternatives to nuclear. Nuclear is tried and tested, the other technologies are not - you should welcome their advocacy of alternatives - they might provoke an advance in the technology that is better, if not well they tried.

          2. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Happy

            idealogical hatred

            ideological hatred TFTFY

            As for the comment, with nuclear power we are powering our life on a mortgage, to be paid off over a million years ... the utilities companies do not even factor decommissioning of power plants into their prices correctly, let alone waste management. These are undeniable facts, once you know these facts, nuclear power is silly.

            If you disagree, I think you could earn big bucks cleaning dirty thirty!

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              As for the comment, with nuclear power we are powering our life on a mortgage, to be paid off over a million years ... the utilities companies do not even factor decommissioning of power plants into their prices correctly, let alone waste management. These are undeniable facts, once you know these facts, nuclear power is silly.

              And once you know that natural nuclear reactions have taken place 2 billion years ago at Oklo creating a nuclear waste problem that mother nature dealt with perfectly safely by geological disposal then arguments against geological disposal in sensible and suitable locations looks increasingly silly.

              Thorium is the future of nuclear anyway, not uranium.

    2. Jove Bronze badge

      Given that the Labour Party has become a religious cult they would not exactly be breaking new ground.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Environmental sustainability isn't a cult though. If you genuinely see it as such, it's probably because you're too far gone to the consumerism cult.

        Um. So if you think that chopping down trees on the other side of the planet, machining them down into pellets and then shipping them all the way across the sodding planet to burn in our green and environmentally friendly biomass (ex coal) plants is not:-

        1) Green in any way shape or form.

        2) Environmentally sustainable.

        3) Likely to reduce CO2 emissions.

        4) something which should qualify for renewable subsidies (which lest we forget were sold to the public as being required to reduce CO2 emissions to save the planet from downing when the ice caps melt!)

        Then your a flat earth nut?

        This sort of thing is a perfect example of why you shouldn't let activists anywhere near making decisions because you end up with a patently absurd situation which for some reason is defended by environmental supremacist zealots righteously convinced of their own superiority and unwilling to admit that making decisions on feelings rather than analysis demonstrably results in poor outcomes that run contrary to their own objectives. The people responsible for this sort of absurdity have more knowledge of slogans than sense, imo.

        So yeah, if standing in opposition to this lunacy makes me part of a consumerism cult, then sign me up. If other sane people join then at least i'll be in sane company.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "So if you think that chopping down trees on the other side of the planet, machining them down into pellets and then shipping them all the way across the sodding planet to burn in our green and environmentally friendly biomass (ex coal) plants"

          FWIW, that's just typical of poor government legislation and guidance, and business doing it's damnedest to increase profits while staying within the letter of law. The way it should have been written and the way it was actually written is what has caused this disconnect between pollution and so-called green energy sources. It only looks at the emissions at the point of generation, not the whole production cycle.

        2. Triggerfish

          Um. So if you think that chopping down trees on the other side of the planet, machining them down into pellets and then shipping them all the way across the sodding planet to burn in our green and environmentally friendly biomass (ex coal) plants is not:-

          1) Green in any way shape or form.

          2) Environmentally sustainable.

          3) Likely to reduce CO2 emissions.

          4) something which should qualify for renewable subsidies (which lest we forget were sold to the public as being required to reduce CO2 emissions to save the planet from downing when the ice caps melt!)

          Then your a flat earth nut?

          I'd like to point out you can be an environmentalist and also think that shit is stupid. Using examples like that is fair enough, but to say that is all it is about or all think is wrong. Would be the same as saying you are a consumer and then taking some really daft example of fanboyism applying it to all consumers and assuming you must be a complete sucker.

        3. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Joke

          biomass environmentally safe ??

          Totally agree, it is fucked up, even if we had sustainable forests next to the plants and used the wood from there ... still better than nuclear, though ... because CO2 levels can be reduced to acceptable levels in time-frames several magnitudes (couple centuries vs millions of years) below nuclear waste disposal.

          There are much better alternatives, though, wind, solar, and geo-thermal (admittedly, all still need substantial research and development). The thing is, the energy source is unlimited and free, when the sun stops shining, humanity will have already been long gone ;-).

          PS10 solar power plant is very interesting, I think. We need to increase efficiency and get the costs down ... that was the first of a series.

        4. Nick Collingridge

          Totally agree with your basic point - this has always been a ridiculous fudge. But I think you will find that it is a fudge which has primarily been fostered by the industry trying to improve their environmental credentials since 2011, and government has simply sucked it up.

          Ridiculously it seems to be pretty much the only "environmental" policy they have supported, and it is obviously just a coincidence that the industry is making tons of money out of it.

          I am sure that the political donations and hospitality received by the primary champion of this, Nigel Adams MP (Con) have had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

          It is a total disgrace and no self-respecting person who is concerned about what we are doing to the environment should support it.

    3. H in The Hague

      "Nice to see a religious cult with 10 (ten count 'em!) MP's is gonna be pulling the strings....."

      Funny thing is, when I express my belief that proportional representation is a fairer system than first past the post, those defending FPTP often claim that PR is more likely to lead to fringe parties getting excessive influence - but that's just what is happening now under FPTP. At least it's not a 'coalition of chaos', as it's not officially a coalition :)

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "t's not a 'coalition of chaos', as it's not officially a coalition :)"

        Good point. Not an actual "Coalition."

        Just the chaos then.

    4. DougS Silver badge

      Why can they pull the strings?

      I understand the conservatives need them to get to a majority, but is there really a concern that DUP would join with all the rest to form a Labour government? What happens if no one can form a majority, because no one wants to deal with the 10 DUP members?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Why can they pull the strings?

        What happens if no one can form a majority, because no one wants to deal with the 10 DUP members?

        You get a minority government, where each vote is taken on its merits. It makes the government extremely vulnerable to a confidence motion, which if lost would customarily result in an election. It's why parties with a plurality, but not a majority, generality prefer a coalition.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Why can they pull the strings?

          " where each vote is taken on its merits. "

          god imagine that , how terrible.

          I much prefer the automatic gainsaying, jeering and stubborn refusal to act sanely because someone in a different party is speaking.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Why can they pull the strings?

            Those of us who live in the US can only dream of a government hamstrung by "each vote is taken on its merits". Instead positions on issues that should not be partisan are because party leadership tells them how to vote.

            Makes no sense that no republican can ever vote for a tax increase[1], or no democrat can ever vote to cut social security[2], but certain things are party gospel where independent thinking is not permitted!

            [1] where removal of any deduction including obvious loopholes is considered a "tax increase"

            [2] where a change in the retirement age by even a single month a decade out is considered a "benefit cut"

      2. therealmav

        Re: Why can they pull the strings?

        I think what happens is that no party can force through legislation in the teeth of opposition. What they'd be forced to do is negotiate and compromise to come up with legislation that commands sufficient cross party support.

        That doesn't sound too bad to me, but the politicians no doubt hate it.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Why can they pull the strings?

          One of the problems is that none of the parties can act responsibly and when in opposition will take any opportunity to make trouble for the government and if that includes voting against something that they know is good then I believe they will do it.

          It is not in the interests of the opposition party for the economy to do well and the current government to do a good job.

          A politician will put their personal interests first (ambition) and then the interests of their party second. The nation an its people come third behind those priorities.

          And this applies to all of them, including the ones who try to sell themselves as not being like that - these are the worst ones because they are fakes.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            @werdsmith

            That's why we need term limits - if there was a maximum of two terms then half of the US House of Representatives would have no concern about how their decisions look to party leadership and the next election. You can see this from how differently members behave who are not running for re-election or are so popular there is no chance of being knocked off in a primary or general election.

            There are a lot of republicans in the house caught between a rock and a hard place with health care because they promised they would repeal Obamacare, and know that if they voted against doing so they would be vulnerable to a primary challenge. However, except for those in very red districts, they know they are vulnerable to a democratic challenge for what they voted as a replacement. If half of them couldn't run again, they could act on what they believe, rather than fear of being "primaried" or having financial support pulled in 2018 for not following the party line.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why can they pull the strings?

          @therealmav "That doesn't sound too bad to me, but the politicians no doubt hate it."

          Journalists who "write" for such literary giants as the Daily Mail will hate it even more .....

    5. CommanderGalaxian
      Joke

      Brexit negotiating team

      And then they'll head over to Strasbourg for Brexit talks as part of the Conservative and Unionist Negotiating Team.

  3. frank ly

    News to me

    "The £147 "fee" is payable by anyone who uses a TV to watch live news as it is broadcast, or who uses a tablet or desktop computer to stream it over the internet via BBC iPlayer."

    I thought it was for all BBC broadcast output, not just news, if viewed live? It's three years since I had a TV licence so I may be behind the times.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. WatcherFrog

      Re: News to me

      They changed the law so that they could get away with including online content.

    3. scrubber

      Re: News to me

      Not just news, and not just BBC, but any live broadcast over the airwaves, even the ones you already pay for via subscription or ads.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: News to me

        In Germany, you have to pay for the license, whether you watch ARD or not. The "GEZ" is applicable to all households that have a radio (reduced rate), TV or an internet device capable of video playback.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: News to me

          > ...TV or an internet device capable of video playback.

          Last time I looked: irrespective of ability of playback! You have an Internet connection, you have to pay, cf. Rundfunkbeitrag.

          Cannot say I like it. Still better than the old GEZ/Stasi thing.

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: News to me

            Well, you might have heard, the Stasi were amateurs compared to our secret services' arsenal. They have the capacity to record your farts as you attempt to expel your excrements, should you do so with your mobile in your pocket ... as well as record the time and location of the WC's you use ...

        2. MJB7 Bronze badge

          Re: German TV license

          @big_D : You are several years out of date. These days you have to pay for license even if you don't have a radio, TV, *or* internet device. It's a straightforward (hypothocated) tax on each household.

        3. Paul Floyd

          Re: News to me

          Re: German TV license

          It's much the same in France where we have the redevance tele which gets collected with your council tax. You can opt out if you don't have a goggle box. You don't have to pay of use the internet though.

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge

            Re: News to me

            It's much the same in France where we have the redevance tele which gets collected with your council tax. You can opt out if you don't have a goggle box. You don't have to pay of use the internet though.

            Yes, maybe, but on state-sponsored TV, you get 10 minute add breaks between child programs ... on BBC, you get none of that, you pay, you know why you pay ... in France, in the 30 odd years I live here, still do not know why I pay ... I'd happily pay if only they could remove adds between the child content, the ONLY stuff we watch on TV ... keeps the kids busy while we prepare in the mornings ... we have a TV for consoles, but even they hardly ever get used ... high-end PC's have spoiled the kids, don't want to touch consoles anymore ...

      2. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: News to me

        It is the Window Tax (Poll Tax even) of the modern day.

        1. JimBo59

          Re: News to me

          The Poll tax, or everyone pays in - then you get it back if you cant afford it tax.

          That would have been a nightmare to implement, but actually is fair, in that at least everyone would 'see' how much stuff costs, even if they don't end up leaving their hard earned cash with the government to do it.

          I was taught economics by two teachers, one left wing and one right wing. They agreed that everyone in politics wants the same goal, enough for everyone. The difference is how to implement.

          Left wingers think government knows best and will ensure the money goes into the right places, if you just give you money to us.

          Right wingers think that once you have enough you will donate time and money to the right places to fix the issues.

          In truth I find that government need to fix some of the long term issues, but are useless at the short term ones, so I kind of think we do OK.

          Biggest issue is we have the NHS, fantastic idea but introduced without long term funding plans. Just like so many other government ideas, could it be due to a 4-5 year term and no personal responsibility for the results?

          Government passed a law that affects Banks (maybe other areas too) to cover this the 'Senior Management regime' where if you should have known better you can be fined personally as well as the company. Time to get this to Everyone in Every job, stop the stupid 'I was told to' and 'I wont have to sort it out' responses.

          I do think of entering politics but I am too blunt and can't agree with any party enough to join.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: News to me

            "Left wingers think government knows best and will ensure the money goes into the right places, if you just give you money to us.

            Right wingers think that once you have enough you will donate time and money to the right places to fix the issues."

            That's the Fisher Price version of how it works.

            I have never noticed the Tories having much of a tendency to think people know what's best for them. In reality all governments always think they know best what's right for the lowly people.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pay?

        I watch the BBC, ITV, etc live and don't pay a penny. That's because I don't live in the UK. So please continue funding the BBC via whatever means you like as long as it has enough money to keep up the high quality stuff, keep watching the adverts on ITV etc and above all keep putting it all out on a satellite with a slightly generous antenna footprint.

        Anonymous because of hatemail.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Pay?

          "Anonymous because of hatemail."

          Many of those of us who are paying welcome your free-loading because we recognise that the BBC is quite possibly the best thing that this increasing bonkers country is still doing on the world stage.

          Indeed, for many years the World Service was financed by the Foreign Office for precisely that reason. We actually wanted you to listen to our point of view. In more recent years, the UK government has apparently decided that we don't want foreigners to listen to us anymore. Given the behaviour of those governments, that might not have been the wrong decision. A pity though.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Pay?

            "In more recent years, the UK government has apparently decided that we don't want foreigners to listen to us anymore."

            That's quite possible an unintended consequence of hiving off much of the BBC production to independent companies who retain the IP rights to the productions. They want to be able to sell them again to other territories and so argue that the BBC must do all it reasonably and technically can to stop unauthorised dissemination. In the analogue days, that was quite difficult but now everything is digital it's easier and cheaper to geo-block, or more tightly focus a satellite beam, or encrypt it. The other sad side effect is the limited amount of BBC broadcast shows on catch-up for more than few weeks.

      4. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: News to me

        Funny. I watch it on FreeSat and I don't have a licence. I live in the RoI, and I guess that many Europeans can pick up the same signal without paying anything. Same with C4, which also gets some of the licence fee, AIUI.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: News to me

          Yes, when I am at our Wexford home all the UK channels are available and preferred. Before satellite we had an east pointing antenna on a high pole to get UK analogue TV from the Preseli transmitter.

          Thanks to satellite, most of those eyesore antenna poles are gone.

        2. Wilseus

          Re: News to me

          "Funny. I watch it on FreeSat and I don't have a licence. I live in the RoI, and I guess that many Europeans can pick up the same signal without paying anything. Same with C4, which also gets some of the licence fee, AIUI."

          Not any longer, sadly. You used to be able to pick up the BBC, ITV etc even in the south of Italy with a modestly sized dish, but you can't pick up any channels worth watching very far outside the UK/RoI any more.

          Anywhere outside Iceland, the north of France, Belgium and the Netherlands and you're out of luck now: Click for coverage map

    4. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: News to me

      It is now for all output, regardless of live or not. As it says in your quote. The law was updated to include more modern equivalents when it became clear people were happy to use an iPad or a laptop to then watch it on catch-up if that meant not having to pay the licence fee.

  4. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Minority Partner Policies

    To be fair to the DUP it'd be more of an achievement than the Lib Dems 5p tax on carrier bags if they pull it off.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Minority Partner Policies

      I wonder if the DUP will be able to de-rail any further privacy invading legislation like wot the LibDems managed? Or are they in favour of Mays attempts to legislate against encryption?

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Minority Partner Policies

      5p carrier bag tax was the best thing to come out of Government in 2010-2015. We all knew we should be reusing bags, but it took a tiny tax to make us change our ways.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    Right so the DUP want to stop us paying a TV license?

    That's fantastic, I can see Northern Ireland turn to shit if they actually get accepted in to Government. But for free!

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      N.I.

      The DUP are in government in the North (sort of) and they've already done a good job of turning the place to shit (£490 million?). It's only power-sharing that's kept them on the leash, and since the Tories are now the DUPs little friend Stormont won't be starting up again soon. Which leads to Direct Rule from London. By the Tories. Who will be told what to do by the DUP.

      Have we got enough troops to spare for all this...?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: N.I.

        "Which leads to Direct Rule from London. By the Tories. Who will be told what to do by the DUP."

        Exactly. The DUP were the only ones to speak to the Tories. Lib Dems, well I don't think they were consulted. The SNP? No chance. The DUP!? Yeah ok, we'll listen...

        I don't think, however, that the Tories/DUP will be voted in to power (as parliament have to vote on whether to accept the governments programme via the Queen's speech). There's far too much at stake for the DUP to be allowed to govern in Westminster.

        So come next Tuesday, expect a new round of "What are we going to do" and talk of elections.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: N.I.

          @wolfetone

          "I don't think, however, that the Tories/DUP will be voted in to power (as parliament have to vote on whether to accept the governments programme via the Queen's speech)."

          You misunderstand the situation - if Mayhem offers an attractive enough bribe to the DUP then a majority in Parliament WILL vote to accept the programme. That's what a 'confidence and supply' agreement is all about. She'll only lose if some of her own backbenchers rebel. <FX> flying pigs, hell freezing over etc </FX>

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: N.I.

            You forget that they only have a majority of 2, and 1 of them happens to be Ken Clarke.

            So if there is just two or three Tory MP's with an ounce of sense between them, they can vote against their own party and nullify it.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: N.I.

              You forget that they only have a majority of 2

              In practical terms they would have a majority of 6. Sinn Féin members refuse to take their seats and the speaker doesn't vote so the actual number of voting members is 642, needing 322 to make a majority of votes cast, and Sylvia Hermon in N. Down would probably side with the Tories as well, or at least abstain.

              1. Hans 1 Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: N.I.

                Sinn Féin members refuse to take their seats

                Do you REALLY think Sinn Féin members will refuse to tackle a DUP-friendly government ?

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: N.I.

                  Do you really think Sinn Fein MPs will swear allegiance to the Queen and then take their seats?

                  The oath of allegiance is the primary and overriding reason they don't take their seats.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: N.I.

                  Do you REALLY think Sinn Féin members will refuse to tackle a DUP-friendly government ?

                  I'm sure they'll tackle them in public, but they've refused to sit in Westminster for nigh-on 100 years because they won't swear allegiance to the crown, they don't seem likely to change that fundamental part of their policy.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The success of The Pirate Bay shows that torrent-based media can and does work.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      They lost their court case today in the European Court.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >They lost their court case today in the European Court.

        Yes as the BBC has proudly splashed on it's website:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40272723

        Interestingly the BBC also have recently joined a super copyright cartel:

        https://torrentfreak.com/global-entertainment-giants-form-massive-anti-piracy-coalition-170613/

        Copyright isn't for the little guy, it's for big fat corporations to protect their markets ad infinitum, death +70 years is taking the piss.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Gimp

          XS4ALL

          You guessed it, XS4ALL Rulz!

          XS4ALL - XS4ALL - XS4ALL .... even took on Scientology and won!

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        "They lost their court case today in the European Court."

        I doubt they care much. They have been legally based outside the EU for years now.

  7. Raphael

    Speaking from NZ

    I would be happy to pay a monthly fee to stream iPlayer content over here in New Zealand. If the paved it in the price range of Netflix and other local streaming products (so NZ$15-NZ$20 pm) it would bring in near the cozy of the annual license.

    We have a fair number of British expats over here that would probably be happy to sign up. (I'm a Saffer expat not a Brit)

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Speaking from NZ

      I think the main reason stopping that, is that a lot of their programmes are only licensed to be shown in the UK, and the NZ rights don't belong to the BBC.

      (Because a lot of the BBC's programs are made by outside production houses, so the beeb only gets the UK rights).

      (BTW, what/who is a 'Saffer'? Not heard that term before)

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Speaking from NZ

        If they were really worried about viewing outside of the licensed regions they would shut down the broadcast of their transmissions via satellite.

        As would Sky.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Speaking from NZ

          If they were really worried about viewing outside of the licensed regions they would shut down the broadcast of their transmissions via satellite.

          As would Sky.

          Sky and BBC already do, they transmit from Astra 28.2 2{E,F,G} using a narrow UK targeted beam precisely to achieve this. Every channel broadcast on Freeview is broadcast using the UK beam, which makes it much harder to pick up in Europe now - you need a big dish, and no bad weather.

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Speaking from NZ

            It's not that hard, a 1 metre dish works fine in the south of France.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: Speaking from NZ

              It's not that hard, a 1 metre dish works fine in the south of France.

              When its not raining, or the wind blows, then yes, you can pick up the UK beam in the closest neighbouring country to us. Shocker. Try in the south of Spain, or Croatia, or Greece. It's as geofenced as is possible with the technology available.

      2. Spacedinvader

        Re: Speaking from NZ

        South African. Is your preferred search engine broke?

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Speaking from NZ

          " Is your preferred search engine broke?"

          I think Yahoo are closest to broke. Or did you mean broken?

      3. Fink-Nottle
        Unhappy

        Re: Speaking from NZ

        > (BTW, what/who is a 'Saffer'? Not heard that term before)

        A Saffer is a person congenitally incapable of running between the wickets.

      4. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: Speaking from NZ

        They currently block films on iPlayer due to legal restrictions, and this is something they could do a broader scale offering alternative content as applicable.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Speaking from NZ

          "They currently block films on iPlayer due to legal restrictions"

          The films must be the least desirable of the BBC's programming, since they are so readily available (and usually earlier) via other channels.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Speaking from NZ

        yes, but the licensing as UK only is a BBC decision, within the BBC's control, for stuff that is made for them. "We want you to make this for us, and we will own the rights." "Err, we'd like the ex-UK rights". "OK, we'll get someone else to make it then."

        Doesn't address previous content - or content that the BBC Store "sold" via "buy now" buttons that have turned out to mean "rent, until we change our mind, sorry about lying to you on that" - but that cannot be an insurmountable issue. "Nice production company you have there, shame if something happened to it. Before we talk about any future work for you, let's clear up the silly question of rights for license-funded content."

    2. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Speaking from NZ

      Which is exactly one of the reasons they will be opening the issue again later this summer.

  8. tiggity Silver badge

    Assumptions

    (Witlessdale) "involved in a scandal over dalliances with a prostitute – something that was unlikely to have impressed the PM, a vicar's daughter."

    Given that JC (not Jezza, the bible one) was very friendly with Mary Magadalene (prostitute) surely a vicars daughter might not necessarily be anti prostitute per se. (Judge not lest you be judged and all that)

    Caveat - not religious, just know lots of bible stuff as unhappy (unsuccessful) exposure to church indoctrination as a kid,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assumptions

      Both Witlesdale and JC were friendly with ladies of loose morals.

      That is highly inappropriate. While it may be forgiven to JC, it is a unforgivable for a Tory politician.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "was very friendly with Mary Magadalene"

      AFAIK she stopped practicing when she decided to follow JC... what happened to her "customers" who didn't repent we don't know... but with words like "And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell" I may guess what happened to them...

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Assumptions

      "Caveat - not religious, just know lots of bible stuff as unhappy (unsuccessful) exposure to church indoctrination as a kid,"

      You should have realised by now that just because something is in the bible, it doesn't mean that religious types will pay any attention. "Turn the other cheek", "love your brother as yourself", lovely ideas, but not ones espoused much by many Christians.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Assumptions

        "lovely ideas, but not ones espoused much by many Christians."

        You must distinguish between Christians and those who most loudly proclaim that they are Christians. (If I were the former, I think the latter would get on my tits.)

      2. Patrician

        Re: Assumptions

        ....""love your brother as yourself", lovely ideas, but not ones espoused much by many Christians....."

        Which of course means that they're not really Christians .......

    4. strum Silver badge

      Re: Assumptions

      >Mary Magadalene (prostitute)

      There's no reason to believe that MM was a prossie. It was a misreading of the Gospels by the early church, which got repeated often enough to stick.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Assumptions

        Nothing in the bible about her being a prostitute. More likely invented by misogynists to remove female influence from the religion.

    5. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Assumptions

      "Given that JC (not Jezza, the bible one) was very friendly with Mary Magadalene (prostitute) "

      I think you need to read your bible again, there's not one claim in any of the four gospels claiming she was such. It's a conflation from other references, and only made by Western churches, to play down her importance.

      As an atheist, the indoctrination failed, so I just read the text and came to my own conclusions.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assumptions

      "Given that JC (not Jezza, the bible one) was very friendly with Mary Magadalene (prostitute) surely a vicars daughter might not necessarily be anti prostitute per se. (Judge not lest you be judged and all that)"

      Methinks you are being too generous with your thoughts. Given her stance on censoring internet pornography, a prostitute will almost certainly be lumped in with that.

      (Exceptions may be made for reformed prostitutes who can be wheeled out to testify about becoming "born again Christians", but that implies never being allowed to forget their former lives. They will be vilified and dumped if they no longer provide that service.)

      "Caveat - not religious, just know lots of bible stuff as unhappy (unsuccessful) exposure to church indoctrination as a kid,""

      Caveat - religious upbringing of a pretty hardline Protestant variety, in mainline UK. All Catholics were destined for Hell, and associating with them was heavily discouraged. Escaping from that environment was not easy.

  9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Amazon and Netflix?

    The success of Netflix and Amazon streaming services shows that subscription-based media can and does work.

    How true, every evening I'm glued to Amazon watching their local and national news. Their coverage of important Welsh events is unrivalled. And the hard science documentaries like Horizon on Netflix are hard to beat.

    We need a written constitution and it needs to include something to guarantee public funding for the BBC. But having said that, WTF don't they sell iPlayer licences globally?

    1. david bates

      Re: Amazon and Netflix?

      And when exactly was Horizon 'hard science'? I gave up watching it over a decade ago when 20 minutes material was spread out to cover an hour and every programme seemed to revolve around how technology would destroy the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazon and Netflix?

        >And when exactly was Horizon 'hard science'?

        Sadly gone are the days when you used to have OU programmes on BBC2, I do miss the flares, beards and properly informative material that isn't dumbed down.

      2. strum Silver badge

        Re: Amazon and Netflix?

        >I gave up watching it over a decade ago

        So, how do you know what it's like now? (I suspect you're fibbing.)

        What people keep forgetting is that Horizon (and other science progs) aren't aimed at people who already know the science - but at people who might be interested, if they are suitably engaged.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Amazon and Netflix?

          "What people keep forgetting is that Horizon (and other science progs) aren't aimed at people who already know the science - but at people who might be interested, if they are suitably engaged."

          They used to be aimed at people who knew science but not the bit that was the subject of the programme. They're now aimed at people who would like to know about the current subject but don't mind having their intelligence insulted by the presentation.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Amazon and Netflix?

          What people keep forgetting is that Horizon (and other science progs) aren't aimed at people who already know the science - but at people who might be interested, if they are suitably engaged.

          Horizon is also made as a service to people who are up their own arse, to give them something to be supercilious about.

      3. romanempire
        Pint

        Re: Amazon and Netflix?

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...........

        Have a pint and an upvote. Spot on about Horizon.

        P.

      4. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Amazon and Netflix?

        every programme seemed to revolve around how technology would destroy the world.

        And we didn't listen! <fist shake>

      5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Amazon and Netflix?

        Every dum-dum "documentary" (that's the sound of kettle drums) has to be one hour long, regardless how trivial the subject. And it has to have stupid CSI-lighting and photogenic made-up scientists, and shaky cameras with zoom lens issues.

        Produced for the AD crowd.

    2. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Amazon and Netflix?

      A world full of snowflakes.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Amazon and Netflix?

      " Their coverage of important Welsh events is unrivalled. "

      When is one man and his dog back on?

  10. David Nash Silver badge

    @Pen-y-gors

    I wish I could upvote you more than once. This is the point that the DUP clearly miss. A move to a full commercial model like Amazon (which I pay for and use) would lose all the minority interest programming that the BBC does.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: @Pen-y-gors

      @David Nash

      No problem - just register multiple accounts and you can give me a dozen up-votes. The Russian trolls do it on all the news sites.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @Pen-y-gors

      Minority interest stuff like regional programming. Which is probably fine by the DUP. After all Ulster is indivisible from Britain, and not in any way locally distinctive like those pinkos at the BBC keep trying to imply, right?

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: @Pen-y-gors

        If I were a crooked government official, feathering the nests of my pals with some other country's tax money, I wouldn't be in favour of an organization like the BBC either.

        Anyone who wonders why DUP are so strongly against the BBC should look at BBC Northern Ireland's investigative reporting output which has exposed them to be on the take on more than one occasion (same goes for their opposition, the equally morally dubious Sinn Féin). Most recently, look at the Renewable Heating Incentive scandal in NI where DUP gave its chums a nice little profit at the cost of 450 million pounds of UK taxes.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: @Pen-y-gors

          Anyone who wonders why DUP are so strongly against the BBC should look at BBC Northern Ireland's investigative reporting output which has exposed them to be on the take on more than one occasion (same goes for their opposition, the equally morally dubious Sinn Féin).

          I think you forgot the "grabs coat" icon ... I almost went for the "keyboard" icon, but I think you nailed it properly and deserve recognition!

          Thanks for the laugh ... as the French would say: "Ouh lala, tu l'as cassé sévère!"

      2. CommanderGalaxian
        Headmaster

        Re: @Pen-y-gors

        "After all Ulster is indivisible from Britain..."

        I think you'll find three of its nine counties are located in the Republic of Ireland.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: I Think We Need The BBC

      You're forgetting - the Sky fee is in addition to the BBC fee. If all you want to watch is Sky, you're still paying £12 per month for the BBC.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        Take away the BBC and other Freeview channels from Sky and you're left with very little unless you pay more for films (£18 extra) and/or football (£23.50 extra).

        Only the hard of thinking would pay Murdoch £22 more a month for Sky on top of the licence when most of the content worth watching is on Freeview anyway.

      2. Thought About IT

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        "the Sky fee is in addition to the BBC fee" - and you're paying to watch adverts, and increase the funds available to Murdoch to influence our politicians and get monopoly control of sporting events.

      3. Paul 195

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        Ah, the old "but I never watch the BBC" argument for not paying the license fee. Except in practice, the number of people in the UK who never watch the BBC, never listen to BBC radio, and never use the BBC website is probably a lot closer to zero than the number of people who whine about the license fee. And I suspect the majority of people who complain about the license fee are perfectly well able to afford it, they just have an ideological objection.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          @ Paul 195

          "Except in practice, the number of people in the UK who never watch the BBC, never listen to BBC radio, and never use the BBC website is probably a lot closer to zero than the number of people who whine about the license fee. And I suspect the majority of people who complain about the license fee are perfectly well able to afford it, they just have an ideological objection."

          I think that is a fantastic argument. And to prove your point how about letting the people who use the BBC pay for it and those who dont dont? That would surely make everyone happy and show people how much they rely on the BBC (or more likely how few people bother with it).

    2. scrubber

      Re: I Think We Need The BBC

      Dear Shadmeister,

      Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for an essential service? NB. The essential service here is the ability to see any broadcast, not just the BBC. Is it acceptable that the poor, and women, are targeted for prosecution for non-payment of the licence fee? Is it acceptable that Buckingham Palace only need to pay a single licence fee, but a student flat with locks on each room need to pay for each bedroom? Is it acceptable that anyone unable or unwilling to pay the BBC's licence fee is then barred from watching live broadcasts from commercial providers?

      If the BBC is such good value for money then you shouldn't need to force people to pay for it with threat of prison if they refuse. It should be able to compete in the marketplace without being subsidised.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        The day Sky, Netflix, or Amazon stop charging per household or do discounts for single mums will be the day you might have a point.

        1. scrubber

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          I don't need to buy Amazon to watch Netflix, but I do need to pay the BBC to watch Sky or ITV. If you have a TV you should be able to watch the ad-funded news, the current licensing fee stops this. If it was funded through general taxation then it would be more equitable and would not put an undue burden on the poor.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        "It should be able to compete in the marketplace without being subsidised."

        And how, exactly, is it going to make rich people pay more than the poor (which was one of your key objections - that it does not do this)? Or how make Buck House pay more than a bedsit occupier? A TV/bedroom tax? A 'per screen' levy? FFS! I could go on, but your lack of thinking through your own comments needs no more examples to demonstrate it.

        1. scrubber

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          You miss that there are two threads to this - a criticism of the funding model (should be from taxation rather than a poll tax on households with TVs) and a more general criticism of the BBC funding being mandatory to watch any of the paid broadcast services, as well as the inequity of the policing of the system.

      3. Toltec
        Coat

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        "Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for an essential service?"

        Is it acceptable that the intelligent pay just as much for all of the reality and soap rubbish broadcast for the masses?

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          "Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for an essential service?"

          They do for water, food and power (actually the poor pay more for power). Is the BBC more essential than water?

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          Is it acceptable that my Vehicle Excise duty goes to the maintenance of roads I never use?

          I like to think of the license as something that allows us to access live broadcast TV with the added bonus of the BBC making some great programs, without which I can guarantee Sky and others would drop their standards below their already low bar.

          For the price of a years Sky subscription with sport you can (if you dig around) get a week in the US watching how TV would look without the BBC.

        3. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          > "Is it acceptable that the intelligent pay just as much for all of the reality and soap rubbish broadcast for the masses?"

          Given the much smaller number of viewers and limited commercial interest from overseas broadcasters I wouldn't be surprised to find that soaps are significantly cheaper and possibly even a net gain for the BBC compared to more high-brow programming.

      4. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        @ scrubber: Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for an essential service?

        Um... Let us modify that slightly...

        Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for a washing machine / car / vacuum cleaner / replacement window / smartphone / broadband / effing enormous television and so on...

        An argument in support of "no" would be interesting, and I look forward to reading it. Please include the method by which price differentials would be calculated and enforced.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          @Commswonk

          Bit of a specious argument you make there..personally, I'd love to see the squillionaire who buys 'effing enormous televisions' of the Alba/Polariod/Technika marques.

          This is the problem with your point, the rich already can and do pay more than the poor for similar items in the short term, but as there is a seriously marked difference between the quality of said items that they have the power to purchase over those that the poor can afford, over an arbitrarily chosen figure of, say, ten years, that the rich person's item lasts, the poor end up maybe purchasing 2-3 of said 'inferior' similar items due to failures...effectively in a lot of cases the poor end up paying more over the same time period (And we won't even talk about, or factor in the effect of predatory scalpers like Brighthouse and their ilk...)

          Shitty old system, isn't it?

        2. scrubber

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          @Commswonk "Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for a washing machine / car ..."

          A great argument against progressive taxation, one I might even have some sympathy for, however you are not comparing apples to apples. If you show me a similar situation where, for example, I have to buy a BMW if I want to buy an Audi you'd maybe have some point.

          It's not even like it's a sales tax where people who can afford more expensive TVs pay more than people with 2nd hand CRTs. It is the most regressive tax in the UK but because people think the BBC makes Britain important in the world they will accept no criticism of it in any way, much like the terrible NHS.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: I Think We Need The BBC

            No, it's not because it makes the UK more important in the world, it's because it is something which makes the UK better than it would be if it didn't exist.

            The NHS is not terrible, just chronically underfunded for years and it can't be long now before the government inevitably announces that privatisation will be stepped up as that will be the only way to improve it.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: I Think We Need The BBC

              "The NHS is not terrible, just chronically underfunded for years"

              The conservatives increased spending in real terms though over the last government. The real problem is too many people being let into the country for the NHS to cope with.

              "can't be long now before the government inevitably announces that privatisation will be stepped up "

              Seems unlikely as Labour lost. It was Labour that privatised great chunks of the NHS via PFI contracts...

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: I Think We Need The BBC

                So the problem is not that the funding per patient was cut, it's that there were too many patients. If there were fewer patients... er, funding would still be cut, and in a way which even looks blatently obvious on a bar graph.

                Your PFI comment makes no sense as all governments have indulged in it since the early 90s.

              2. Adam 52 Silver badge

                Re: I Think We Need The BBC

                "The real problem is too many people being let into the country for the NHS to cope with."

                This is just rubbish. The people migrating in tend to be young, healthy and paying tax. They are also the doctors and nurses who were keeping the NHS afloat. It's the ageing population causing NHS extra load. Ironically those very people who are being cared for and kept alive by the immigrants that they voted to boot out.

                The baby boomers will all be dead before the long term effects kick in and the current 30-50 year olds will end up paying, just like everything else the baby boomers have messed up.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: I Think We Need The BBC

                  Don't forget older people are being sent to the NHS because social care is being cut back too. More load for the NHS doing something it was not designed to do.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The people migrating in tend to be young

                  So 1M Poles has zero impact on the NHS, cos they're all doctors and nurses, and not working in factories, warehouses and fields!? And that's just the Poles, FFS wake up

              3. Hans 1 Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: I Think We Need The BBC

                The real problem is too many people being let into the country for the NHS to cope with.

                What ? Seriously, WTF ? I think the NHS is coping quite well with the nurses and surgeons that come from abroad, worse, I think they could not cope without them!

            2. scrubber

              Re: I Think We Need The BBC

              @Dan55 Your comment shows EXACTLY the problem I was talking about. You admit the NHS is not in a good state but can't accept anyone saying so and jump to the reasons why it's bad - but can't let anyone say it's bad.

              These stupid British institutions are worse than a flaming cult. They let Savile (allegedly?) rape and molest people for decades because pointing it out might make the institution look bad. They stop people using their reasoning faculties and make anyone pointing out any potential flaws into the enemy.

              Is anyone seriously saying that the license fee is a more equitable and desirable funding model for the BBC than a sales tax on TVs or being paid from general taxation? Anyone?

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. scrubber
                  Mushroom

                  Re: I Think We Need The BBC

                  @Shadmeister, the quality, or value for money (£3.7bn is it?) Is not the issue. The issue is who pays, how they pay, why they pay, and how much they each pay.

                  Should the person who is never off sky pay the same as someone in love with the BBC's rightly lauded nature programs? Should a student in Swansea pay the same as a banker in London? Should a large family pay more than a single person? Should the BBC be allowed to control as much of the media in the UK as it does?

                  I'm not saying I have the answers to any of these but I am saying that the current model is regressive, uncompetitive and unfair, and all the fucking David Attenborough in the world ain't gonna change it.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: I Think We Need The BBC

                  "Many European countries implement a licence fee, and many others (European, Non-European) have government funding in addition to advertisement."

                  How stupid of me then!

                  Because others are screwed over by their systems, it's obviously correct that we are too!

                  We should never reform, even when technology completely changes our behaviour.

                  Makes so much sense.

        3. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          > Is it acceptable that the poor pay just as much as the rich for a washing machine / car / vacuum cleaner / replacement window / smartphone / broadband / effing enormous television and so on...

          These things aren't paid for with taxation.

      5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        Is it acceptable that Buckingham Palace only need to pay a single licence fee

        The over-75's don't pay one at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I Think We Need The BBC

          "The over-75's don't pay one at all."

          Quite. One of my family's OAP parents "lives" here for exactly that reason....

      6. graeme leggett

        Re: I Think We Need The BBC

        Student flat - could be joint tenancy so only needs the one licence.

        Buckingham Palace - HM QEII, as an employer, should get a Company Group licence and cover Windsor and Balmoral as well

  12. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The BBC has gone so much downhill that it might as well get the coup de grace.

    Most of its good stuff isn't made in-house anyway.

    For light entertainment any of the alternatives will do just fine.

    If I were to pay only for what I'm interested in, the BBC's production would look totally different. And younger people wouldn't want to pay at all. So I understand why BBC and the established powers are desperate to hang on to the mild and controllable (and "entertaining") BBC under the current anachronistic mandatory licensing model.

    1. Mark Dempster

      >The BBC has gone so much downhill that it might as well get the coup de grace.

      Most of its good stuff isn't made in-house anyway.<

      I'd agree that the news/political analysis is far from what it used to be. But the only reason that so much of its content is outsourced these days is because the government forces them to. Probably a few MPs who have shares in TV production companies...

    2. IsJustabloke
      Stop

      Most of its good stuff isn't made in-house anyway.

      ummm.... they do still have to pay for it though and of course, those shows are made not speculatively but because someone [at the BBC] has commissioned it.

      I know it's unfashionable but I think the beeb is pretty good value for money particularly when you compare it to say, Sky, that charges you twice as much money and still throws a large amount of adverts at you while showing a lot of programming that has been commissioned and paid for by the BBC.

      Beeb plus Netflix / Prime is all you need for a full spectrum of stuff. It can be yours for less than the price of a Sky sub and is mostly advert free.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Most of its good stuff isn't made in-house anyway.

        If BBC only made stuff that differentiated them from the commercial channels, I bet the license fee could be slashed to less than half. That would be better value.

  13. deive

    There are plenty of nature and science documentaries, brilliant and (mostly) impartial news - I know I wouldn't be able to get any of that if it were not for the BBC, who trusts "news" from multi-millionaire tax dodgers who just want more power for them and theirs?

    I am happy to pay for that content and subsidise other minority content (even the stuff I hate) 'cos the people who like that are also helping to pay for the programmers I like.

    It is NOT illegal to not pay for the license, only to watch content from BBC if you haven't payed. So if you don't want to pay the license fee, then DON'T PAY IT and stop watching what you haven't paid for. Oh and stop trying to kill our BBC cos you don't like it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You misunderstand - if you choose not to pay the license fee, you need to stop watching all live broadcast TV. Not just content from the BBC.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tom Watson

    Needs to go and see someone about those specs of his. That face and specs combo makes him look like Bebop from TMNT.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tom Watson

      Anonymous cowards posting pointless, nasty comments.

      Just like the Daily Mail comments section.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People who do not pay up commit a criminal offence

    remember, citizens, THEFT is A CRIME. And we're all the victims, etc.

    1. TheTick

      Re: People who do not pay up commit a criminal offence

      "remember, citizens, THEFT is A CRIME. And we're all the victims, etc."

      Indeed, and yes we know those radio signals are being transmitted into your house whether you asked for them or not, but if you dare tune into them without paying....

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: People who do not pay up commit a criminal offence

      "remember, citizens, THEFT is A CRIME"

      And also remember that copyright infringement and license fee evasion are not theft.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like the BBC but at the current moment in time with regards to their news I don't care if they stop getting the licence fee and move to a commercial model because I won't be paying for it.

    The news website is hugely biased and full of adverts disguised as articles. e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40170738

    News is supposed to be unbiased, sure I expect political slant from the tabloids but I expect none from the BBC.

    1. Weeble

      RE: Untitled

      "I like the BBC but at the current moment in time with regards to their news I don't care if they stop getting the licence fee and move to a commercial model because I won't be paying for it."

      But you will be paying, just as you are paying for everything put out on the commercial channels you don't watch either. That advertising budget comes out of higher prices for [all] the goods and services sold by the purchasers of that advertising space. And advertising space on the BBC is likely to be expensive.

      In short, by not watching TV at all you can opt out of the licence fee, but you can't realistically opt out of funding the ITV.

    2. Patrician

      ....I like the BBC but at the current moment in time with regards to their news I don't care if they stop getting the licence fee and move to a commercial model because I won't be paying for it....."

      But you *do* pay for it, every advert on commercial TV has to be paid for by somebody, normally the end users of the product being advertised.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @ Patrician

        "But you *do* pay for it, every advert on commercial TV has to be paid for by somebody, normally the end users of the product being advertised."

        This is a statement I absolutely hate being trotted out because it shows a huge lack of understanding. If you buy a product you choose to buy that product, you choose to pay for it, it is your choice to buy it, you choose to part with the money. Now imagine a 'ford' tax where everyone pays more for any other car but those who buy ford get subsidised. There is no choice, you do not choose to buy that product, you do not choose to pay for that product, you are forced to buy a rival product you do not want.

        You can choose not to buy the advertised product and even buy a rival product. You cannot buy sky tv but not pay the TV tax.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I work for one of the companies that are responsible for that "Better Burgers" BBC article (and AC, because we're mentioned in it). It's not an advert as an article, but I can see where that misconception comes from.

      At this time of year, it is supposed to be "silly season" for journos, and they need fluff stories to fill their papers/websites. What they do then, they call their favourite market research company and say "Hey, tell me about the latest trends - whats interesting and new?". It's a fluff piece based around a tiny bit of original consumer research.

      The market research companies do it because the journo will plug the research company in the article (so hey - it is an advert, but not for 5 Guys!). Our company boasts each month about how much press coverage we have gotten, and how much the equivalent advertising would have cost. We actually specifically produce a report each year at this time that is designed to be full of talking points of current consumer trends, designed for giving journos quick and easy stories. I could* give you ten trends, at least 5 of them will be stories on BBC or print papers by the end of August.

      * If you have £2000

  17. Dr_N Silver badge

    The BBC: Crown Jewels of UK Broadcasting

    People are just to parochial to realise how damn good it is.

    Everywhere else pays for public broadcasting that is schite and still has adverts.

    Or in the case of the US, is just adverts.

    Grass is always greener.

    1. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: The BBC: Crown Jewels of UK Broadcasting

      You are living in the past - the BBC is long past it's peak and is functioning as a propaganda machine at virtual all levels.

      Time to take it around to the back of the shed.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: The BBC: Crown Jewels of UK Broadcasting

      My BBC iPlayer list has:

      Mock the Week

      Have I Got News For You

      QI

      Room 101

      Sorry, but though I'd happily pay for the just-released box set of all the seasons of QI, I can't even do that as it's not available online, only on DVD. The rest... though great fun, I wouldn't pay a lot for it.

      The BBC is no better than any other producer, and quite a lot of their formats are bought in from companies that make such things (e.g. Graham Norton moved from Channel 4, for a while they had a comedy show that was EXACTLY Whose Line Is It Anyway, made by the producers of... Whose Line Is It Anyway, Bake-off has gone, etc.).

      They have just shut their online streaming shop too. So, despite a commenter on here assuring me not so long ago that I can buy old TV series from them - everyone who did just got chucked off and a refund cheque and no more access:

      "BBC Store no longer offers programmes to buy. Purchases will not play in iPlayer."

      They have a massive archive of content that's already digitised that they can't sell.

      They have major influence over technology products for video streaming, etc. (everything has an iPlayer app).

      They have the TV license fee income.

      And still I can't actually give them money.

      And still I'm not sure I'd bother if they can't sort themselves out after all this time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The BBC: Crown Jewels of UK Broadcasting

        ""BBC Store no longer offers programmes to buy. Purchases will not play in iPlayer."

        Not only that, but if you follow their advice and use the Store apps instead, the programmes you "bought" so you can "keep" and "watch when you want" - they'll still stop working on November 1.

        Novel definition of the word "buy" (compared with rent") that the helpdesk said is covered in their terms and conditions - but couldn't actually quote the terms in question, or provide a link to the specific item, or the contact details of anyone who can say what is going to happen. All they will say is they intend to try to do something, possibly via Google, Amazon or Apple, at some point in the future, maybe. Hopefully management contracts of employment also include a line about intending to pay salaries, possibly via Google, Paypal or Apple, at some point in the future, maybe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The BBC: Crown Jewels of UK Broadcasting

        opened a "support" case with them about iPlayer and Store content; they didn't answer the questions, just nonsense about "wait and see". Today, they tried to close it as resolved; responded saying "don't close it until got an answer. Or close it, but that means you are agreeing to me ripping my BBC Store content.". Case was re-opened as quickly as the email hit them ....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The BBC: Crown Jewels of UK Broadcasting

      It is indeed! A load of cock and bollocks

  18. Jove Bronze badge

    Trot's Propaganada Machine

    The end of the BBC Tax and the adoption of a subscription model would be a healthy improvement to the BBC in the medium-term.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Trot's Propaganada Machine

      You appear to have drunk long and deep from the print media (with off-shored proprietors and vested interests to kick the BBC) Kool-Aid.

      You should stick to hard liquor instead.

  19. Lee D Silver badge

    I know I'd be happy just paying, say, £10 for permanent online access to a season of my favourite programs. Or even a Netflix-y deal of say £30 a year for everything.

    And then, literally, forget the rest of the TV licence.

    I could buy FOURTEEN seasons a year for that. And I probably would, if not more. And not be subject to scheduling, watersheds, or waiting for days for the next episode, or the other dross that I honestly couldn't care about but have to sort through to find the one program I want.

    That said, there's no way I'd vote for a party just because they have proposed one vaguely-decent, non-binding idea.

  20. TheTick

    Give it to us

    When they eventually privatise it, which they will because the telly tax is indefensible, instead of the government getting the cash they need to simply give every taxpayer an equal share. It belongs to us after all - yes even people like me who don't pay the tax.

    Sorry guys but that's what tax is, everyone gets what tax pays for :)

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Give it to us

      No.

      Taxes are just as often a penalty on an action to discourage use of it.

      - Buying luxuries.

      - Running a car that slowly damages roads and air quality, charged on a sliding scale of damage caused.

      - Offshoring assets / jobs (tax on them so you can penalise that action and encourage local job use, etc.)

      - Tax on unnecessary personal habits that damage your health incur costs for everyone (e.g. smoking, alcohol).

      - Tax on selling houses

      - Tax on international profit-moving and intellectual property usage (e.g. Starbuck's taxes being mulled).

      - Tax on betting and gambling

      In this case, the tax was on people who want to watch TV live as broadcast, contributing to peak power usage and trash-entertainment.

      That's shifted slightly since (the way things do when there's profit to be made) but generally speaking tax is not a insurance that everyone pays into and everyone gets back from, in any way.

      It's just as often a penalty on actions that are in the nations interest to discourage, and/or to profit from.

      1. TheTick

        Re: Give it to us

        @ Lee D

        No.

        Taxes are only ever levied for one reason - to raise revenue for the government so they can spunk it around and claim it's for the good of all.

        The sin taxes you mention are simply an excuse that they know most people will swallow.

    2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: Give it to us

      We all own the government too, so money to the government is money to us.

  21. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Am I the only one old enough to remember?

    Minority government means MUCH LESS controversial legislation, not more. Any group of half a dozen Tories is enough to shoot down any Bill they like. There's not a cat in hell's chance of the BBC license fee being abolished.

    Was 1974 really that long ago?

    ENDS

    ###

  22. theblackhand Silver badge

    BBC licence fees

    Given the state of the current BBC licence fee (effectively stagnant under the Tories) and content provision moving away from traditional TV/radio services (based on audience share not just for the BBC but globally across those mediums), this may be an opportunity for the BBC to negotiate their way out of what appears to be a dead end in the medium to long term.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The DUP can go back to chaining-up the swings on Sundays.

  24. RichMcc

    I'm torn between hating the Tories and hating the BBC. I would abolish both given the option.

    The only thing on the BBC I would watch would be occasionally the bias news coverage for a laugh. But as a British person in Britain I have to pay a TV licence to watch that? Meanwhile I can watch RT news, free online 24/7 which is considerably less bias. I can even watch Sky news for free without needing a licence.

    What makes the BBC (governments pet media outlet) so special? Now that Top gear has been ruined there's absolutely nothing worth watching on there anyway. So they can stick their fee in the same place as most of their tongues reside. Firmly in T Mays backside.

    1. Fink-Nottle

      > Meanwhile I can watch RT news, free online 24/7 which is considerably less bias. I can even watch Sky news for free without needing a licence.

      As pointed out earlier in the discussion, you need a licence to watch ANY programming that is broadcast live ANYWHERE in the world. This means RT News, Sky news are not free. In fact, even content like Twitch or YouTube live streaming can be construed as live broadcasts and require a TV licence to watch legally in the UK.

      1. deadcow

        This isn't correct, you can't watch a TV broadcast, but you CAN use streaming services to watch pre-recorded and live television - as long as it isn't the BBC.

        Source: I don't pay for a TV license and was asked these questions when I cancelled it.

        1. deadcow

          In light of my downvote:

          "You need to be covered by a TV Licence to

          watch or record live TV programmes on any channel

          download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

          This applies to any provider you use and any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder."

          http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one

        2. Fink-Nottle

          > This isn't correct, you can't watch a TV broadcast, but you CAN use streaming services to watch pre-recorded and live television - as long as it isn't the BBC.

          You've been misinformed.

          You need a TV licence to legally watch any form of broadcast telecommunications. Live streaming is considered a form telecommunications broadcast so you need a TV licence to watch a live stream.

          With on-demand services OTOH, content is not broadcast to multiple recipients,so this method of content delivery falls out with the TV licensing law's definition of 'broadcast'.

          This is explained at same source you quoted.

          ( http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ95 ) :

          ( http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/Live-TV-and-how-you-watch-it )

          "Live TV means any programme you watch or record at the same time as it’s being shown on TV or live on an online TV service."

          "If you’re watching live TV, you need to be covered by a TV Licence:

          - if you’re watching on TV or on an online TV service

          - for all channels, not just the BBC

          - to watch satellite or online programmes shown live from outside the UK or Channel Islands."

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      RichMcc

      Now that Top gear has been ruined there's absolutely nothing worth watching on there anyway.

      You appear to be asserting your own subjective preferences as if you represent the entire viewing nation.

  25. Thoguht Silver badge

    "The Conservative Party manifesto simply says it will ensure pensioners receive free TV licences."

    No it doesn't. It says that it will keep free TV licences for the over-75's for the current parliament.

  26. Dave 15

    Brilliant

    Cant wait to see the DUP get their way on this. The bbc with its over paid 'stars' and shoddy programs and vacuous 'news' can go and crawl into a corner to die. No more stupid threatening letters because I dont have a tv licence because I would rather do without tv totally than fund the bbc

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brilliant

      "The bbc with its over paid 'stars' and shoddy programs and vacuous 'news' "

      Compare programming on BBC (and news) with the amazing ourput you get from say, Channel 5 or ITV2.

      Some of us don't really want to watch "Fat gypsy kids on benefits caught on cop cameras" or " Celebrity brain dead morons talking bollocks and getting arse out live"

      And as for Kids TV, the BBC utterly destroys the competition. Only Canada even comes close.

  27. bed

    Hmm... Politics

    In theory, the BBC is ‘impartial’ and provides a ‘balanced’ view on the world. In reality, it is impossible not to have a point of view when creating or presenting media and, whether that is balanced or not, it is likely to irritate some party or other who will call for some measures to be taken – such as abolish the licence fee.

    Another reality is that the BBC has, in its charter, the obligation to promote the state, in effect become the mouthpiece of the state, the point of view is state-centric, which make it difficult to also provide ‘balance’. Hence, prior to the recent election, there was very little un-critical media exposure for Jeremy Corbin (during the election period different rules apply), which has somewhat backfired. Scotland is currently getting the same treatment with the party which came second in the general election somehow being treated as if it had won.

    So, I got fed up and, two years ago, removed the aerial, cancelled the direct debit and, with the money saved took out a Netflix subscription. I can still watch the commercial channels over the Internet.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Hmm... Politics

      For many people, if the news is not what they want to hear, or it goes against their own viewpoint, then they consider it biased.

      In fact it is clear where the bias really is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm... Politics

        It's true, so often we hear "Left News" from Conservative voters, and "right wing bias agenda" from Labour supporters.

        Yes it's not perfect, I don't care for the 80% of programmes on the BBC, but it's better than the 99.99% of crap on the other channels.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Hmm... Politics

          There was a BBC producer of a political programme who showed the tweets they were receiving were 50% accusing them of right wing bias and 50% accusing them of left wing bias.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Hmm... Politics

      In theory, the BBC is ‘impartial’ and provides a ‘balanced’ view

      News flash, no media outlet is "balanced".

      If you ask me, journalists are a bunch of bigots, most of us are, and media outlets hire bigots that "defend their views".

      A group of people I can think of that are not bigots are "real" scientists, the kind of person who applies the scientific model to life. "Real" scientists go nowhere near the media, except for the stars (Cox, de Grasse Tyson and a few others). Most of the rest of the world population are bigots. Failure of education.

      Patriotism is a failure of our education system, religious faith is a failure of our education system, nationalism and xenophobia even more so a failure of our education system, as is reliance on proprietary software (to get the IT angle).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupToqz1e2g

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC_mV1IpjWA

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJHtGyqDHGA

  28. mark l 2 Silver badge

    What I want to know is...

    How will this affect Getiplayer?

  29. TRT Silver badge

    That's a LOT of comments...

    Wow. Hot topic

  30. Anonymous C0ward

    Regressive tax

    And the DUP hate being regressive, of course.

  31. DanceMan

    The Canadian Perspective

    There is a similar movement in Canada, primarily from the far right and expressed by some Conservative politicians (mostly rural) that wants to kill the CBC. CBC has already been hurt by years of Tory budget cuts and the appointment of Tory stooges to the CBC board.

    In Canada the CBC is funded from taxation, so support does vary with income and we have none of the odious effects of your license model.

    Personally I don't have much use for CBC tv, but CBC radio is a treasure. I also watch some DV, France 24 and NHK World and I think there is a great value in national broadcasters. CBC radio produces much programming that would *never* be produced by the private sector. I shudder to think how bad our news could be if corporate media were all we had left. I saw some of your Brit newspapers shown on DV or Fr24 the day before the recent election and I had no idea media could sink so low.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Canadian Perspective

      As I've pointed out in another place, Canada is one of the few places that Kids TV is up there with the BBC's. It doesn't attempt to be loud, brash, brain dead wall to wall cartoons presented by bimbo presenters only wanting to get their hit single to No 37 in the charts.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a detector van driver....

    Who'll think of our jobs?!!!

    1. Wolfclaw

      Re: As a detector van driver....

      Go drive for Yodal or Uber, no real change in status !

  33. Lyonnesse

    There is nothing on Netflix and Amazon for millions of people like me. Commercial stations chase the big money and minority interests are marginalized. Better to put a levy on commercial broadcasting to pay for the BBC and then remove the trust from any government interference. I wouldn't necessarily defend keeping the BBC at all, given that it is no longer an unbiased observer, but something needs to be put in place to ensure we don't have to live on a diet of American movies and sport

    1. Number6

      American movies and sport are OK, you can just choose to go do something more productive or read a book. What you really don't want is the advertising. Dr Who on the BBC (as one example) is in a 50-minute slot. On BBC America it is in an hour slot, the extra ten minutes being adverts. Worse, the flow of the programme is totally disrupted by the interruptions every few minutes and it's not nearly as fun to watch. That's what you'd really stand to lose, the ability to go get lost in something on TV for a decent period without being interrupted by banal and stupid advertising, now often filled with someone trying to break the record for number of words spoken in a minute in order to get in all the legal disclaimers required by the lawyers.

  34. Caspian

    It makes sense

    BBC payment model was relevant for 20 centuries as some Labour MPs but not anymore.

    I hardly watch BBC and still I pay for it.

    I don't know much about DUP but what they said makes more sense than this guy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: It makes sense

      "I don't know much about DUP"

      Racist dinosaurs?

      How is that for a two word summary.

  35. Wolfclaw

    What a surprise, Labour supporting a tax for the Bias/Brussels Broadcasting Corporation that throughout the election was obviously pro-Labour and is controlled by a bunch of left wing luvvies !

    1. lorisarvendu

      "What a surprise, Labour supporting a tax for the Bias/Brussels Broadcasting Corporation that throughout the election was obviously pro-Labour and is controlled by a bunch of left wing luvvies !"

      A perfect example of why accusations of bias are ridiculous. Further up the thread we've got someone complaining they're not going to watch the BBC because it's tongue's firmly up Theresa May's arse. Now you're complaining it's in Labour's pocket.

      Well it can't be both, so either one of you is wrong (and theres' only one way to find out...Fight!) or - shock horror - the BBC actually is impartial and (like on "Have I Got News For You") every part of the political spectrum is fair game for analysis, criticism and ridicule.

      1. lorisarvendu

        Thanks for the 3 thumbs down, guys. It is easy to see that for every complaint that the BBC is biased toward the Right, you'll find another that it is biased towards the Left. Here's a couple of examples, just off the top of a Google search:

        The Indie thinks the BBC hates the Tories.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bbc-election-debate-left-wing-bias-jeremy-corbyn-labour-audience-theresa-may-conservatives-a7766311.html

        While Craig Murray thinks it's the other way round:

        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/04/bbc-bias-clear-indisputable/

        Plenty of examples around. Just Google "BBC Left-wing bias" or "BBC right-wing bias"

        1. Number6

          I think the BBC probably try to balance the complaints, so if they get roughly equal number of complains about being too left-wing or too right-wing they assume they're in about the right place. Where their sense of balance is skewed is in giving equal time to crackpots and nutjobs who have plenty of hot air and very little credible backing (I'm not talking politics here, that would be too easy, more science).

  36. David Roberts Silver badge
    Windows

    Separate fee

    Was shirley intended to wall off the funding from the whim of the current government on a day to day basis?

    Thus giving a measure of visible impartiality?

    Otherwise content is specified by a combination of government whim and advertising revenue.

    There should be a source of development funding for new programmes which are adveturous and challenging. The BBC used to do this but less so these days.

    I don't see that turning them into yet another channel funded by advertisers is going to preserve the last traces of independence.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *sigh* I can believe we still have the license in this day and age. GET RID OF IT, just fund the BBC out of general taxation like everything else is. Put some things in place to link funding to CPI or some other measure so governments can't bugger around with the funding for political reasons. Whenever you have some license for something you'll always have some freeloader not paying it and trying to get something for nothing, plus you'd get rid of all the paper pushing managing licenses etc, JUST GO NOW

  38. MarkW99

    Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

    I don't know about abolition, but I would welcome a subscription service.. I must be one of the few who has no TV, never watches TV, but now have a TV licence just to keep the Capita boys at bay. With the new iPlayer regime, (BBC will/may pass IP address and other data to Capita), the risk of being fingered by Capita and put up before a magistrate who will believe anything Capita say, is too great. If the Beeb can collect IP addresses accessing the radio iPlayer, news/weather sites, then frankly it isn't worth taking the risk and hoping that Capita will play fair.

    1. deadcow

      Re: Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

      I haven't had a TV license for a few years now - this is one of the things that really gets to me about it, and why I fundamentally stand against it. The License fee people employ these threatening bullies who use underhanded and often illegal tactics the threaten people and then take them to court, and for what? Because you don't want to watch Eastenders? Because you think the media is a pointless joke? TV is treated as an essential - and it isn't. It's very far from it. I sound like a "Wake Up Sheeple" nut - I'm really not.

    2. Gerry 3
      Stop

      Re: Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

      Just withdraw their Implied Right of Access, tell them that you are well aware of the licensing regulations and that you will also take action under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 if they issue any further threats or send the boys round.

      They won't pester you again.

      BTW, there's no obligation to tell them whether you have a TV, nor do you have to let them in to check (except in the unlikely event that they obtain a valid search warrant).

      1. MarkW99

        Re: Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

        Yes, I used to do all that fine stuff, but the new BBC T&C's make it easier for them to simply pass an IP address to Capita, and all the BBC websites will soon require a login, so it just isn't worth holding out any more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

          "If it was the IP of my router sir, may I suggest a neighbour or someone in a car utilised my routers wifi connection on the many times I open it up for all to use. Otherwise maybe someone hacked it while it had a passphrase. "

          "You don't happen to know the MAC address of the offending device connecting to the router and streaming and the name of the individual sitting behind that device at the time? No to both of them? Then your right honourable sir, I would say that is case closed unless the defendant has said something specific to nail themselves".

          If they can't see or hear your tv and you close the door on their face without giving them any information, that is usually the end of it.

          I signed up for the new iPlayer using a popular throwaway email provider, while connected to a VPN in another country and using a random UK postcode from a google search. It even let me play the content while on the foreign IP address too. So no geo-blocking at the time I tried at least, all based on a legit postcode. Bit like US streaming services where everyone non-US signs up as living in Beverly hills with a 90210 postcode :)

          The BBC TV Tax is like Marmite. People either love it or hate it

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Stupid short sighted brain dead politicians with no grip on reality.

    The success of Netflix and Amazon streaming services shows that subscription-based media can and does work."

    And for the millions that don't have fast broadband connections?

    Help the poor? Bollocks

    So to help families out finacially, they now need to pay for fast broadband, buy a device of some sort to receive it AND subscribe to a company?

    And last I looked, neither do radio or news, oh and how much UK programming do they create?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC

    Bloody Big Cheek

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC

      Better Bugger Children

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watching the Idiot Lantern

    Only has one result!

  42. Number6

    OK, so a TV licence costs £147, so just over twelve quid a month. If the BBC went subscription-only, how much would it charge? Then you'd have to pay 20% VAT on top of whatever they wanted. Look at what the subscription services charge for their stuff to see what people might end up paying for the BBC. OK, so the licence fee might not be the best way to fund the BBC, but turning it into a commercial enterprise where profit and cost savings are the most important things is not the way to go. Imagine the BBC with advertising, too. There's only a limited ad budget in the UK for TV< so if they suddenly pulled in a fair chunk of that, everyone else would get less money and would have to bump up their subscription fees to make up the gap, and you can bet it would cost more than the licence fee by the time they did that.

    Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "but turning it into a commercial enterprise where profit and cost savings are the most important things is not the way to go"

      You don't think BBC makes money outside sucking in the licence fees?

      1. Number6

        They do, that's what helps subsidise the operation, especially selling their stuff overseas. I think turning them into an organisation that requires advertising income to survive would be a backward step, although I'm open to ideas on how else to fund it. I'm not sure the commercial TV stations would want to see it either, despite all the noise they make about uneven playing fields.

        Of course, their licence PR could do with a bit of improvement, anyone who's had to deal with TVLO or whatever it's called now (Crapita?) knows that they assume anyone without a licence is a criminal. That's probably getting to be more true now they've widened the number of things for which you need a licence (they'll argue that if you have a phone or PC then you must occasionally be watching stuff that needs a licence), but back when it was a TV set or VCR, it was a bit much.

  43. TDog
    Alert

    Wisdom of a 90 year old.

    It is fathers' day. Well OK 16 minutes ago. Spoke to my 90 year old, old man, and got this:

    "How do you know when a politician is lying?"

    "His lips are moving".

    Casually and carelessly a straw poll of the sole son seems to support the hypothesis.

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