It can't have escaped many people's attention that over the last couple of days TV Licensing has been doing what it does (second) best: giving half a story and contorting the facts to suit its own agenda.
The story this time - expertly spun by TV Licensing's PR harlots and regurgitated by slovenly journalists across the land - is the more than doubling of the number of TV Licensing goons claiming to have been assaulted over the past financial year.
As the same TV Licensing's deceit-weavers are poised ready to unstitch this article, let us reiterate our stance that anyone who legally needs a TV licence should get one; anyone who doesn't should be able to enjoy the comfort and security of their home without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience of TV Licensing correspondence and employees.
We have never encouraged or condoned any sort of aggression against TV Licensing goons, however sinister and deceitful their doorstep patter might be. We have always encouraged the passive filming of TV Licensing goon visits, which is perfectly legal and provides an accurate record of events in case of queries (or malicious allegations) later on.
According to TV Licensing 89 goons claim to have been physically assaulted in 2014/15, which is up from 37 in 2013/14. The number of "verbal assaults" was 271 in 2014/15, which is up from 196 in 2013/14.
It's an unusual story to run, given that TV Licensing's unorthodox approach to customer service is plastered all over the internet. Equally bizarre is TV Licensing's decision to publish the names, photos and locations of goons Charlene Boucher and Anser Hussain - who we have never even heard of - yet at the same time wag the finger of disapproval at people daring to upload their own footage to YouTube. It's a bit of an obscure own goal that one, yes?
Anyhow, back to the story at hand. Let's put TV Licensing's goon assault figures into some sort of context.
According to the most recent (2014/15) TV Licensing Annual Review, its goons visited a total of 3.9 million properties last year. We know TV Licensing isn't very good with facts and figures, so we'll err on the side of caution and assume it actually visited about 3 million properties.
Working on that assumption, it can be deduced that, on average, one TV Licensing goon was assaulted for every 34,000 properties visited and verbally assaulted for every 11,000 properties visited. In other words the number of goons physically/verbally assaulted was statistically insignificant in 2013/14 and it still is statistically insignificant in 2014/15, but that wouldn't garner the sympathetic ear or column inches that TV Licensing was seeking.
We suggest that TV Licensing has a pretty low threshold for what it considers physical/verbal assault. We consider that a significant number of TV Licensing goons who claim to have been physically/verbally assaulted probably haven't been by most people's standards (e.g. telling a hard-selling TV Licensing goon, who refuses to leave when requested, to "bugger off" is not verbal assault, but TV Licensing would probably count it as such).
We also suggest that any goon that claims to have been threatened by a hammer, or claims to have been in the flight path of a television set, has probably ended up in that situation by making their mouth go and outstaying their welcome. Whilst assaulting a TV Licensing goon is totally unacceptable, we can envisage a situation where the occupier is provoked to such an extent that they momentarily lash out.
Whilst TV Licensing's version of events has made the headlines, the statistic people should be concerned about is the number of goons that have threatened, assaulted, defrauded and even raped members of the public they've been visiting. Considering that at any given time there's only about 300 visiting goons covering the whole of the UK, that value really is statistically significant, but spookily never receives the merest acknowledgement by TV Licensing.
Instead you get jokers like Colin Jones, who knows fine well the underhand tactics employed by some TV Licensing goons (as he's an avid reader of the TV Licensing Blog too), but pretends all is rosy in the goon garden. We're not entirely sure who he's trying to kid with that one.
Another worrying statistic is the fact that TV Licensing goons, as a basic condition of employment, have to nab at least one "evader" every single hour of their working week. As we've previously explained, we consider that target nigh on impossible to achieve for a scrupulous goon acting within the rules. Goons, who earn a pittance, receive lucrative cash bonuses for selling TV licences, which can influence the direction of their doorstep sales patter (e.g. telling little old ladies things like: "You really do need a TV licence to cover that unwrapped DVD player under your Christmas tree. If you don't get one you'll be liable for public flogging and £1,000 fine").
If anyone has managed to read this far and is wondering what TV Licensing does first best, then the answer should be obvious: intimidating decent law-abiding folk in their homes, simply because they have chosen not to buy a TV licence they have no legal need for.