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Opinion : Not having a TV licence may soon no longer be a criminal offence

| March 8, 2014


Wasn’t it a fine day today?

For the first time in ages it was a pleasure to promenade around Wycombe town centre at lunchtime and there wasn’t a single puddle in sight.

In fact the weather was so nice and it was still light that yours truly spent a short while in my garden after arriving home hence the slightly later than usual publication of my blog today.

It was only a few weeks ago that we heard of the demise of the trusty Road Tax, now this evening the world is a buzz with news that soon it may no longer be a criminal offence to watch TV without a licence.

Surely everyone will agree with me when I say the TV licence is one of the most outdated things in society today? First introduced on 1st June 1946 the regular purchasing of TV licences is nothing but a chore, indeed at £145.50 to me it seems so expensive considering the programmes and repeats on TV these days.

Of course the licence money only goes to the nationalised channels with the independent stations having to fund themselves from advertising.

Was forgetting to buy a licence really something that was deserving of a criminal record? I think not. Of course under the proposed changes everyone who watches TV will still have to buy a licence but if you omit to purchase one you won’t become a criminal instantly.

Why not go the whole hog and abandon the licence fee altogether, or at least include it as a one off ‘lifetime’ payment added to the cost of every new TV set?

The introduction of the newfangled internet has made a mockery of the TV licensing system indeed I wonder if everyone who watches live TV on their mobile telephone actually has a licence? I mean have you ever heard of anyone being stopped in the street who was watching live TV and asked to show their TV licence to prove they are watching the broadcast legally?

Regular readers will know that my good self does not have a TV. You would not believe how much hassle it is trying to convince the authorities that I actually do not possess television receiving equipment indeed it’s such a battle as they just fail to believe me.

What makes the licensing system even more daft is that it’s OK to watch a DVD or other pre-recorded film without a TV licence but not a live broadcast. One can therefore own a TV set providing it can’t receive anything live!

I wonder how much money is spent each year prosecuting those without licences through the courts? Probably a very large sum which could have been put to better use like helping the needy or even being ploughed back into producing some half decent TV programmes.

What do you think?

*My next blog will be published on Tuesday evening around 8pm.

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