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By Pete Moore On December 9th, 2019

Boris Johnson has said the possible abolition of the BBC licence fee needs “looking at”.

Speaking at a rally in Sunderland, the prime minister questioned how much longer funding a broadcaster out of “a general tax” could be “justified”.

It gets my vote even though it doesn’t affect me. Nope, I’m still not stumping up. In truth though it’s only a start. The idea of a corporation hounding you through the courts even if you have nothing to do with it is simply absurd. That it is a super-powerful, rotten, extreme-left, anti-British propaganda makes it fit only for total abolition, a job onlt complete when its ruins are salted over.


  1. Eextreme-left, anti-British propaganda?

    Their political editor seems happy to regurgitate whatever the Tory spin machine feeds her without even the most elementary of checks:


    Meanwhile, here’s the PM’s dispicable behaviour that the Tory spin machine was hoping to deflect from:

    You’ve stolen taken my phone and put it in your pocket Prime Minister


  2. The ‘conservatives’ are extreme-left globo-homoists, no different from the rest of the Establishment’s political parties.

  3. BBC News was found to be TV’s Most Trusted News Brand in a study from MediaPost and Brand Keys.

    BBC World News and BBC.com were nominated for or won more than a dozen awards, including a Peabody award for its reporting on the Rohingya refugee crisis and Gold in the Travel Journalism Website category at the Society of American Travel Writers.

  4. BBC World is the best TV news in the world.

    No US company comes within a thousand miles.

  5. SKY News is pretty good too. As for the Licence fee, yes it should be abolished, and the funding of the BBC should be automatically index linked and from general taxation so that everyone in the country contributes without being able to get off with paying nothing.

  6. SKY news is excellent

    I recently stumbled upon the fact that SKY appears to be available in the US via Roku or whatever. ( I don’t understand TV streaming well enough )

    SKY would IMO also be superior to any US news channel.

    Fox, CNN, and MSNBC have all become way too political these days.

    If you want to know what is happening in the world here, you have to watch BBC or other non US news.

  7. The BBC is the most authoratative news network in the world. SKY and Channel 4 are also great news outlets.

    Colm, 100%

    On media matters, an onteresting piece on how Britain’s most widely read news paper published a far right conspiracy theory as ‘news’ five days before a GE:


  8. for your discerning gammon , they want a decent fake news channel
    bbc is far too fact checked for these white patriot keyboard warriors

  9. Its funny SKY is now owned by the US company Comcast.

    But Comcast has no US arm that I’m aware of that is any good.

    The US public is generally not interested in the news, which is why major news channels here don’t report the news very much.

    CNN I believe still has an international channel, for outside the US, that is much better than the domestic version.

  10. The BBC has excellent technical standards but is hopelessly biased. SKY News is just drivel.

    But all that’s by the by where principles are concerned. They are merely broadcasters. To forcibly take someone’s wealth, under the violence of law, to fund a state broadcaster is a horrible idea.

  11. The US public is generally not interested in the news, which is why major news channels here don’t report the news very much


  12. leave the beeb alone ffs, we don’t get appalling adverts , its a national treasure, world class , greatest gift in an undeserving world etc .. man you year-zero types are dreadful bores, think of history, tradition, ..lol i’m like the conservative here lecturing the unwashed gammon illiterate on what is good principle and patriotic and what is fine about Britain. Get that flag flying petem and stop the self-hating nonsense

  13. Paul

    If you watch Fox News, CNN or MSNBC prime time slots are filled with endless coverage of the latest Trump shenanigans, along with their political slant on it.

    Minimal coverage of foreign affairs or any other real news from any of these.

    We don’t have any decent national 24 hour news channels in my opinion. It is a big Sean Hannity/Rachel Maddow wasteland.

  14. crickey paul see my struggle , if you can’t be British and Proud on ATW where can ya be ? 😉

  15. Minimal coverage of foreign affairs or any other real news from any of these

    How would the big news channels in the US cover things like the Middle East, the EU & Brexit etc Phantom?

    Kurt, the Beeb in its entirity from news to education to entertainment is a gem but IMO the licence fee is outdated.

  16. Paul

    IMO Fox and MSNBC cover things like Brexit – a major world story – but in a quick and breezy way. You’d be very lucky to get one minute of reporting in a prime time news program. It’s all TrumpTrumpTrump.

    No in depth reporting at all on the Middle East. If there’s fighting or missiles coming out of Gaza, you get a bit of something on that.

    The Hong Kong protests are IMO a major world story. You’ll get the breezy one minute cover of them from the US channels but the BBC might spend ten minutes or more at times, which the US channels simply don’t do.

    There would be nearly no news from India/Africa/South America absent a flashy terrorist incident or plane crash.

  17. There are two things that are abominable, nay, three things that the state should have no part in: Education, healthcare, and broadcasting. The wise nation leaves these unto the free market, the foolish nation surrenders them unto the state. (Brex 7 v 56).

  18. Can you tell me one advanced nation that has no state role in education or healthcare?

    Saying that there should be no state role is completely ridiculous.

    The free market has zero interest in educating or healing people who don’t have the money to pay for those services.

  19. Mr Phantom, that’s not a logical argument when I try and reduce it to basics.
    I can tell you of no mafia mob which doesn’t extort money from businesses; saying that shopkeepers shouldn’t need to pay protection money is therefore ridiculous?
    I can tell you of no illness or disease which doesn’t make the patient feel unwell; therefore illness is to be accepted as a good thing?

    And you’re wrong: the free market alone is why we are tapping out words on these keyboards, using smartphones, and having multitudes of foods to choose from at supermarkets. Because entrepreneurs are very interested in giving people more and more of what they want/need at ever-reducing prices. And that BBC or PBS news announcer is not announcing the news for no salary. He/she too has a family and a mortgage to feed.

  20. No

    The fundamental research on the web was all done by US/European government entities.

    100% of the countries that are prosperous, including those that have grown rich recently ( Singapore, Korea ) have had a very active government role in education and health.

    And those countries that have no government role in these things ( the libertarian paradise of Somalia ) are what they are.

  21. And so, to turn your argument back…actually no, just to restate your argument in a different way: Can you tell me one advanced person who expends all of their chosen field of labour/expertise for absolutely no recompense at all? Of course not.

  22. The fundamental research on the web was all done by US/European government entities

    And they got their funding for that research out of thin air? No, I think you’ll find that it was all from taxation, ie, the wealth creators funded all of it.
    Same as Obama’s nonsensical claim that “if you’re an entrepreneur…you diddn’t build that”. Oh yes they did, for it was their wealth that funded it.

  23. Most people like to have a salary, yes.

    The private sector should do what it does best, the government sector should do what it does best.

  24. I only point out that private industry did not do the fundamental work that the internet was built on.

  25. The private sector creates wealth, for every transaction between free parties represents a bargain to BOTH sides, otherwise the transaction wouldn’t take place.
    Taxation on the other hand CAN be a bargain sometimes to SOME parties, but it cannot create wealth on the whole for it is not a bargain to some parties. In a free market, I, and I alone, choose whether to take out health insurance. I weigh the risk with the cost and gamble upon the best bargain as it seems to me at the time. If I decide I’d rather have the cash in my own pocket, then it’s a bargain to me. If the cash is forced/extorted from me, then PERHAPS it turns out to be a good gamble, perhaps not, but the choice isn’t mine, and so the market gets a false price signal without freedom being involved.

  26. Does anybody believe anything Boris says? I surely don’t.

    The US news program I would rate highly is the PBS Newshour. But they use correspondents from international networks such as ITN and others.

  27. …And so, returning to point, the BBC enforces a tax whether I like it or not. At that point I cease to be its customer and it has free reign to broadcast what it likes, regardless of what I’d like to view. It’s hence no surprise at all that it broadcasts Marxist/liberal nonsense at me all day. I suppose at least I should be grateful that unlike Orwell’s ‘1984’ I can still fully switch the set off and refuse what it belches out.

  28. There are two things that are abominable, nay, three things that the state should have no part in: Education, healthcare, and broadcasting.

    Really? Where’s the golden rule that says that?

    I, most regular commentatrs on this site, most people in developed society and most advanced economies disagree.

  29. You shouldn’t have the option not to buy health insurance, unless you can’t afford it.

    Because if you get very sick, it is exceptionally likely that you will get some care at your local hospital, with the costs shifted to your responsible neighbors.

    And that’s not in any way fair.

  30. You can make the case for no state role in broadcasting. Even though the best world broadcaster happens to be a state broadcaster.

    There is no case at all to be made for no state role in health care or education.

  31. Every British person should be proud of the BBC.

    They provide a great service to the UK and the world. It is British ” soft power ”

    Back in the day when I was at sea in the Navy, I listened to BBC World on shortwave every night.

    Many millions in countries around the world rely on BBC shortwave radio still.

  32. I’m surprised that TV licence has lasted as long as it has.
    There is no way that it can be reasonably justified.

    I haven’t paid the licence because I don’t watch or record broadcast television, and haven’t for about 4 years now. I actually had a TV licence inspector call a couple of months ago, and I showed him that I do not have the television connected to an aerial or tuned into any channels. He was actually quite a nice guy and he said that 5 years ago most people who didn’t have a licence were secretly watching live TV, but he’s seen a huge change in the last few years, and many people, especially the younger generation just don’t bother with broadcast television anymore.

  33. change is coming , in 21st century new models are required , but this is just a silly trope
    “That it is a super-powerful, rotten, extreme-left, anti-British propaganda makes it fit only for total abolition, a job onlu complete when its ruins are salted over”
    Its never going to happen BBC will outlast all of us, it will adapt

  34. Kurt.
    I agree mate, it’s just more of Pete Moore’s ridiculous nonsense. Nobody takes me seriously. He’s made a fool of himself too many times.
    You’re correct, the BBC will just adapt. It may not have the kind of money that is has under the licence model, but even if it goes subscription-based there’s many people who will be happy to still pay for it.

  35. BBC TV would have a decent revenue stream from the US cable / satellite systems that pay for the rights to the news channel, and for a thing called BBC America That rebroadcasts a variety of programs

  36. Please note that they only said that they may look into it. Which is another way of saying they won’t but, because the BXP have it as a policy they might as well suggest that they might too.

    Classic – move along there, nothing to see !

  37. The licence fee is guaranteed up to 2027. Boris will only be able to “ look at scrapping it” if he is still PM then. At least he is ambitious 😉

  38. The BXP? Be serious

    The BXP can promise rainbows, unicorns, your weight in diamonds, seven bedroomed mansions made out of gold and free bags of chips to everyone. It doesn’t matter as they’ll never have to implement their promises.

  39. maybe petem is part of the “russian trolls” disinformation campaign ??
    they get a weekly email like this ;
    comrades this is your starter line “That it is a super-powerful, rotten, extreme-left, anti-British” – now comrades the supreme leader Vlad the impaler Putin says to find news and add the above quote as a tag-line. Choose the EU as we hate them also so much , next attack any of British Institutions. Seek to undermine your country .
    Maybe if you perform well , you get a promotion.
    Spasibo vam USSR ubes alles

  40. //the funding of the BBC should be automatically index linked and from general taxation so that everyone in the country contributes //

    I don’t know what you mean by “index linked”, Colm, but your proposal would mean that NOT everyone in the country contributes, and probably those who use the service most of all, the unemployed and the elderly, would pay least of all or nothing.

    On the other hand, the high earners I know are generally also the people who watch TV least, but according to Colm they’d have to pay the most.

  41. On the other hand, the high earners I know are generally also the people who watch TV least, but according to Colm they’d have to pay the most.

    Isn’t that the way progressive taxation works?

    Maybe some of the ” long term unemployed ” shouldn’t have TVs at all. The hours that they spend watching ” Love Island ” could be spent learning a trade, or seeking employment.

  42. //Isn’t that the way progressive taxation works?//

    Not really. Progressive taxation has a solidarity element, yes, but there’s also the factor that the state’s infrastructure, location development etc, allows businesses to operate and employees to earn their money, and allows high earners to earn more etc. Higher earners also benefit more from the state security apparatus protecting their greater assets.

    There’s also the purely consuming class; people who do nothing and contribute nothing, but who consume state services, cash and, as you say, far too much TV and other junk.
    Although they are probably not the typical BBC viewer.

  43. Hi phantom I’m curious how you know about the viewing habits of the long term unemployed ?
    What other plans you got for them besides taking away their tellies ?

  44. I have no plans to do anything to them

    But I know a few people who fit this description very well

    They sit at home watching Fox News or game shows all day long

    Which is a big reason why they remain unemployed for years

  45. Aye the better ones like pat do some charity work in between fox and friends . It’s better all round people be active in the community even if they can’t work or haven’t got work .
    This thread has shown BBC has respect ..
    I’d guess less than .1 % of Brits are bottom feeders opposed to BBC as institution but higher would want to see change to license terms . It’s hard to get data on this . But I think a few hundred thousand per year are cancelling their license and therefore BBC revenue

  46. I’m not talking about anyone who has a disability or illness.

    There are many who have become quite comfortable in their idleness, provided someone else pays for their upkeep.

    And I bet a dollar to a donut that everyone here knows a person or two like that.

    I support robust safety nets for workers or the disabled, but I would not give a penny for those who choose not to work.