Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ofcom fines TV licence payers

Cranmer asks his communicants to forgive him this moan, which is not remotely religio-political (unless one considers issues of Mammon to be all-encompassing), but irks him sufficiently to merit a posting.

The BBC has been fined by Ofcom after the results of a Blue Peter competition were faked, and a child who happened to be visiting the studio was asked to pose as a caller.

The media watchdog criticised the BBC for ‘negligence’ and for ‘making a child complicit’ in the deception, and has fined the public service broadcaster the sum of £50,000.

The BBC said: ‘We regret that Ofcom found it necessary to impose a fine.’

But Cranmer is more than a little irritated that the fine is not in fact imposed upon the BBC but upon licence-fee payers. This fine is a de facto transfer of tax-payers’ money from the BBC to the Treasury: it may either be viewed as an additional tax upon every household with a television, or the impoverishing of the service that viewers can expect from the BBC.

If Cranmer were really small-minded, he might discover how many TV licences there are, and how much per household £50,000 represents. He might then withhold these sundry pence from his next instalment. The only thing preventing this course of action is the thought that the BBC would then spend more pounds of tax-payers’ money pursuing the outstanding pence.

Why does the Conservative Party indulge this preposterous, anachronistic tax?


Anonymous Observer said...

When the TOCS - Train Operating Companies or even Network Rail are fined by the Regulator or Courts it is the taxpayer who pays.

Personally i think the £50.000 should be docked from the salaries/bonuses of the senior executives at the BBC or at least the Division Head producing Blue Peter.

But the BBC is a Socialised Behemoth serving its own agenda and collecting tribute from the masses on pain of criminal prosecution.....something neophytes think the Erastian State Church can do but cannot

10 July 2007 at 07:54  
Blogger Greg said...

The real question is
"Is it right to have a state run monopoly of the air waves in 21st century payed for by an enforced tax?"

I am bothered by what I see as BBC censorship and bias which would be acceptable if there was room for genuine competition in the free airwaves. It is a brave move of Channel 4 to buy a digital radio licence, but can they succeed against this monopoly?

Maybe as internet radio and TV become common place, such a state run monopoly will become an irrelevance and the licence payer will no longer be required to fund it.

10 July 2007 at 08:53  
Anonymous Observer said...

It is not a "monopoly"....

10 July 2007 at 10:32  
Blogger Peter Kirk said...

What Channel 4 bought is a monopoly, a single licence awarded to the exclusion of a rival bidder.

10 July 2007 at 12:06  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace HA! You do make me laugh... But I suppose you are right. It is the principle of the thing. You should write a letter to the BBC and complain. See what response you get. Suggest withholding the pence that you have no doubt already calculated? and please do let me know the outcome!

I just can't stop laughing!

And Greg this 'competition in the free airwaves' is vastly overrated.

10 July 2007 at 19:56  
Anonymous M.D. said...

We want the BBC to stay funded by "the people" because otherwise we would have another ITV on our hands, pumping increasing amounts of advertising into the homes of the humble television owner. How ever you may discard that fact, at least there is a modicum of accountability with the BBC.....

10 July 2007 at 22:26  
Anonymous Voyager said...

How ever you may discard that fact, at least there is a modicum of accountability with the BBC.....

It is true that the people at the top running things at the BBC are usually affiliated with the party in power....

11 July 2007 at 07:21  
Blogger Greg said...

Observer said...
It is not a "monopoly"....


The BBC has 8 national TV channels, 10 Radio channels.
England alone has 12 local BBC TV channels and 40 local radio channels.

But, as you rightly say, this is not a monopoly of the free airwaves. I apologise for exaggerating
(Source bbc.co.uk 2007/07/11)

11 July 2007 at 16:14  
Anonymous Observer said...

YOur apology is most welcome....the words mono and poly do have meaning after all....these 8 national Tv channels are probably only available to select households....and I certainly cannot receive 40 local radio channels so it cannot be a national "monopoly" even if it did meet the criteria....

"local" BBC Channels is also somewhat trite - I cannot receive 40 local channels - and if I had the option I would rather use an Astra or Hotbird satellite dish to receive the many interesting Channels Europe has to offer

11 July 2007 at 17:31  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

m.d. - It wouldn't just be more advertising which would be pumped into our homes. It would be an everlasting number of inane programmes of no worth whatsoever.

I know His Grace and His communicants love to bash the BBC, but I think British television is the best in the world and I challenge any of them to name me a country with television which is more thought-provoking, entertaining, varied, and sound as what this country has.

And that, Your Grace, is in part thanks to that preposterous tax!

11 July 2007 at 19:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It would be an everlasting number of inane programmes of no worth whatsoever.

That describes the BBC very well

11 July 2007 at 20:52  
Anonymous wrinkled weasel said...

The frightening thing about the Blue Peter scandal is that the mysterious production assistant who fabricated the competition winner evidently felt comfortable about it.

So that begs the question, how often do these people engage in deceit and who is responsible for this putrid atmosphere?

Most of these production assistants are not very mature and full of themselves. They clearly think that they are the centre of the universe and by association, its moral arbiter. That coupled with an institutional bias and insularity in the BBC which has now reached the point where it should be subject to government scrutiny.

Of course it is silly to expect BBC TV to reflect the best of societal values or even Reithian ones. Not so much then, a "drawn sword parting the darkness of ignorance" but a limp wrist waving the flag of convenience.

11 July 2007 at 21:38  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Oh come now Voyager, what about the Today Programme, or the Archers, or Newsnight? What is it exactly that you dislike about the BBC? You are always attacking it but you are never very specific (well apart from the accusations of Antisemitism).

The shower was of no use by the way.

11 July 2007 at 22:20  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Oh come now Voyager, what about the Today Programme, or the Archers, or Newsnight?

Tedium - repetitious - staid format and self-opinionated pomposity. I don't need to spend £3 billion a year to turn out a few programmes

THe shower was an option - bomide is another

11 July 2007 at 22:45  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The shower was an option - bromide is another

11 July 2007 at 22:46  
Anonymous wrinkled weasel said...

I miss Aubrey de Tocquaine. Could his Grace start a sort of "bloggers reunitied"?

No. I thought not. I'll get me coat.

11 July 2007 at 23:30  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Self-opinionated pomposity? I do find it hilarious that you should make such a remark on a blog where half the space is taken up with everyone commending each other on their infallibility!

Are there ANY radio or television programmes that you like?

I'll be sure to visit with Doctor Who to get my bromide. Oh, but he is so very staid. How ever will I cope...?

12 July 2007 at 18:43  
Blogger Ed said...

BBC is the best in the world? How come we import so many quality programmes from the US and Australis then?

The BBC revels in producing trash to compete for audience share with ITV.

Television owners are in effect being forced to pay for propaganda. The BBC has "accepted views" on certain topics such as climate change and European integration. It is not even remotely impartial, but yet we are forced to pay for it.

15 July 2007 at 15:27  
Anonymous Abolish the TV Licence said...

Well here is my story. I dont have a TV. havent had one for 3yrs. I myself have never owned a TV, it was either given to me 2nd or I was living with people at the time. The only time I did have a means of watching TV was on my PC with a TV card but that was only between April 2005 and August 2005. I had Sky TV also playing off my PC. Since then, I have found that the internet has a lot more to offer than the likes of the BBC. Reality TV, soaps, crappy useless documentaries and what not are the reasons I dont have or watch a TV. Above all the TV licence is a joke. It is just wrong how people are paying for a channel that barely gives them the support and service they are paying for. And yet older BBC programs are being shown on other channels for free! Ridiculous.

10 September 2008 at 11:59  

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