When the otherwise sane Conservative MP Boris Johnson starts hammering on about bias at the BBC because one or two journalists accidentally let the veil slip on their neutrality, and he recently receives a licence demand for a TV he doesn't possess, you've got to wonder if he's been overdoing it on the Sunny Delight again.
I was recently challenged, in another place, to justify the BBC Licence fee, and why, should “anyone have to pay for it when there’s nothing on the telly, and I can get ITV for nothing?”
To which I replied:
Regional TV studios providing news and culturally distinct programming
Regional radio stations including national channels for Wales, NI and Scotland, with further stations in Welsh and Gaelic
bbc.co.uk, the world’s most comprehensive news, entertainment and educational website
Programming as diverse as...
The League of Gentlemen
Strictly Come Dancing
Jerry Springer: The Opera
Songs of Praise
Life isn’t all ha ha hee hee
Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy
Life on Earth
And I’m sure Gert will remind me: The BBC Proms concert season
All this for less than ten quid a month. No adverts, no crazy frog, no Celebrity Love Island, and you pay for ITV and Sky whenever you buy a TV-advertised product at the shops.
Also, your taxes, through the Foreign Office, pay another ten quid a year for the World Service, the world’s most listened to and most trusted radio station.
Seriously, if you really, really want your TV and radio for nothing, go here, grab yourself some tickets or apply to actually take part in a programme, and get your entertainment right in the heart of the beast. Literally the best free show in town.
I think Boris is very much the last, true Jedi Knight of the Tory party, but, Boris, in this “advanced free market economy” of yours, I’d much rather have my news from somebody neutral, rather than somebody with shareholders. And that is by how far you have managed to miss the point. And being sans television and sans licence, you're still getting all that radio and web juice for nothing. And you're complaining?
Irony: I have sold my soul, and this site now comes with adverts. Click-me-up and make me rich*!
* Marginally less poor