The BBC was once a great institution, envied and influential around the world. Now it’s facing a massive public backlash over its cultural and political bias and looks likely to lose its power to criminalise non-payers.
Former BBC Director General, Mark Thomas, admitted that the BBC has a history of “massive left wing bias”. Former BBC presenter, John Humphreys, said the BBC has “tried to mould the nation into its own liberal-left image”. BBC presenter, Andrew Neil, described the BBC’s Mash Report as “self satisfied, self adulatory, unchallenged Left-wing propaganda” and the Now Show as “contrived ideological commentary”.
The BBC is removing the TV tax exemption for over-75s on 1st August. Only those in receipt of Pension Credit will be eligible for the rebate going forward as the cost is covered by the Department for Work & Pensions. The BBC estimates that it can squeeze an extra £700m from pensioners which will help pay for the £100m it is planning to spend on “increasing diversity” in programming to ensure minorities are over-represented on TV.
There is a campaign by a pensioner’s group to block up the TV tax system by encouraging anyone over 60 to cancel their direct debits and standing orders and contact the BBC to inform them that they will only deal with them by post and will only pay by cheque or cash. They’re hoping that this will bring the system to its knees.
More effective, though, is the campaign to Defund the BBC by cancelling your TV licence. I cancelled mine about 3 years ago and stopped watching broadcast TV. We mainly watch Netflix but also subscribe to Amazon Prime, NowTV and Disney+. I have no interest whatsoever in watching the BBC or any other broadcast TV.
The BBC repeatedly tells us that it is good value for money and that its research tells them that the majority of people are happy to pay the TV tax but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work for the BBC who thinks it’s value for money. If the BBC is so confident that the public thinks it is value for money they should have no concerns about abolishing the TV tax and switching to a subscription model.
The fact that the BBC won’t entertain the idea of a subscription model speaks volumes, as does their opposition to decriminalising non-payment of the TV tax. About 1 in 10 cases that go before magistrates in the UK is for non-payment of the TV tax and about three quarters of those taken to court are women. Non-payment of the TV tax accounts for about 30% of all convictions of women.
Based on current trends, by the time the BBC celebrates 100 years of broadcasting in 2022 it will be haemorrhaging about a million TV taxpayers per year. That’s assuming the TV tax lasts another two years. The BBC needs to change fundamentally and the only way that is going to happen is to stop funding them.