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Tune in - Pay Up

"The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below. Scattered about London there were just three other buildings of similar appearance and size. So completely did they dwarf the surrounding architecture that from the roof of Victory Mansions you could see all four of them simultaneously. "

I have in front of me a TV License renewal notice, which invites me to pay £131.50 to fund the future of the BBC or, it adds “Evaders can be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 or may have their legs broken”.

Since they ask so nicely, I have very little choice but to pay but under protest. Not that I watch much BBC television these days and neither, according to the latest figures, does anyone else, with “Auntie Beeb” now languishing behind the digital channels as viewing figures fall.

Now if the TV licence was, say £50.00 and in return, I was given unbiased news untainted by constant political correctness and supported by a diet of high level productions and dramas, then I wouldn’t complain. Instead however, the 'Magic Roundabout' and 'Jackanory' have been replaced by 'Neighbours', the newsreaders are celebrity ball room dancers and the best programmes on offer are depressing urban or hospital dramas set in some “on-message , multi-cultural theme park loosely associated with life in 21st century Britain.

At what point do we really start to challenge the TV license now that 3G mobile phones with a video capability have to have one and your PC as well, if it has a TV tuner. £150, £175, £200? Why do we put up with it, well for one reason, because the government and that’s all parties, needs the BBC as a channel for political broadcasting and you and I dear reader are the ones that are expected to fund the rising bill for a bloated media bureaucracy which runs on a large and generous expense account.

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