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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Coronavirus Crisis: Suspend the TV Licence

Last night the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP, announced strict new measures designed to limit the devastating spread of coronavirus throughout the UK population.

We have not seen such stringent controls and restrictions on our civil liberties since the Second World War, but polls show that the nation overwhelmingly supports the Prime Minister's decision. If we do not take decisive action now the situation will be many magnitudes worse in the weeks ahead.

In anticipation of the announcement an estimated 27 million viewers gathered around their TV sets and tuned in to see history in the making.

The Prime Minister delivered a very simple, life-saving message to the nation: "You must stay at home".

Over the months ahead, as the crisis unfolds, people will increasingly rely on TV coverage to provide an essential stream of information to their homes. Under section 363(6) of the Communications Act 2003 the Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden MP, can make regulations exempting viewers from payment of the TV licence fee in times of national crisis.

We would encourage the Secretary of State to make such regulations at the earliest opportunity.

We are grateful to our reader Chris for providing the text of a letter people can email to Oliver Dowden MP (enquiries (at) culture (dot) gov (dot) uk):
Dear Mr Dowden,

During the ongoing coronavirus crisis, I am writing to ask you to make regulations pursuant to section 363(6) of the Communications Act 2003 temporarily suspending the need for a television licence.

This would achieve the following:

1. Those who are unable to afford a TV licence are unable to obtain live updates or view BBC catchup services about the pandemic unless they choose to break the law. This group in particular needs timely information to help them through this. Suspending the need for a TV licence would allow them to access this information lawfully and as it becomes available.

2. Those who have made a lifestyle choice to not watch live television or BBC on-demand services, and who therefore do not require or have a TV licence, are currently unable to view live updates from the government or any other body. Suspending the need for a TV licence would enable such individuals to access live updates about the pandemic.

3. This would give the BBC a unique opportunity to showcase its content to an audience who would otherwise not see it. Given that the BBC has advertised repeatedly how fantastic this content is, being able to access it would no doubt translate into a renewed public appreciation for the value of the TV licence and a subsequent increase in purchases, renewals and revenue for the BBC once the suspension is ended.

4. We are at the start of an extraordinary global pandemic. Over the challenging months ahead the UK public's timely access to information is critical. The BBC has taken tens of billions of pounds of income from the public over the years. It's time now for the BBC to give back something of immediate value. Drop the need for the TV licence and ensure that information is available to everyone.

I am grateful of your consideration of this matter.

Yours sincerely

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1 comment:

Maryon Jeane said...

Personally I wouldn't watch television if you paid me - the media is simply generating panic for the sake of filling the airwaves and newspapers.

It would be wonderful if people could be weaned off the media, particularly the BBC. If it shut down for the duration we'd all find better things to do with our time and reality might set in.

Do you know anyone suffering from this coronavirus? Do you know anyone who's died from the virus? Yet there are a lot of people in dangerous depression or now with life-threatening anxiety, all thanks to the media.

Use the Internet and find reputable sources for anything you need to know. You will obviously have to go out of the house, so make sure your immune system is as strong as possible. If you catch the virus, provided you have a strong immune system you will survive easily (this virus is not a strong killer) and you will then be permanently immune from COVID-19.

Let the BBC go the way of all dinosaurs!