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Samizdata quote of the day

The correct answer is that the BBC can go boil their heads.

Tim Worstall

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Julie near Chicago

    Who are you, and what have you done with Mr. Wooster?

  • Sam Duncan

    “It cannot be right that the UK’s media industry is competing against global giants with one hand tied behind its back.”

    Quite right, Lord Hall. So let’s abolish the BBC, denationalize Channel 4, and free the British media industry.

    Er. That is what he meant, right?

  • Outlining the scale of competition, he will reference studies which found Netflix is spending $8bn a year on content, Amazon is spending $5bn, and Britain’s public service broadcasters combined, including the BBC and Channel 4, are spending £2.5bn.

    Given that the BBC’s income in 2018 was £3.83 billion in License Fee revenue (i.e. the Telly Tax) and £1.23 billion for a sum total of £5.06 billion, I would concur with BBC CEO Lord Haw Haw that the BBC isn’t investing enough in quality content, indeed I given that half of the BBC’s income seems to have been trousered, I would suggest that some form of criminal inquiry is instigated.

    Maybe if the lefties at Auntie Beeb weren’t spunking away huge amounts of dosh acquired from taxpayers / TV License holders at the point of a gun then there might be more available for that quality content Lord ‘Call Me Tony’ Hall is so desirous of.

    The only solution to this dreadful situation is abolition of the License Fee, then his lordship can compete on that level playing field just like Netflix and Amazon.

  • Stonyground

    My thought was similar to that of Sam Duncan. What exactly does Lord Hall want? He seems to be saying that the BBC is being hampered by not being able to be like Amazon and Netflix but presumably doesn’t want the necessary changes to happen.

    John Galt
    “The only solution to this dreadful situation is abolition of the License Fee, then his lordship can compete on that level playing field just like Netflix and Amazon.”

    Exactly, and surely he can’t complain that this doesn’t happen if he himself is not advocating for it to happen.

  • Mal Reynolds

    Netflix cost per household per year: ~£120 (~£10 per month)
    Amazon Prime cost per household per year: ~£80
    BBC license cost per household per year: ~£150

    It’s already more expensive and, unlike Netflix and Amazon, you’re not allowed to opt out. Bugger off.

  • Stephen Munslow

    Slightly offtopic: I’ve been trying to log into Tim Worstall’s blog for 2-3 weeks now, from two computers and an iPad, but without success. The connection is always timed out. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Legally Licence Free

    Mal:

    unlike Netflix and Amazon, you’re not allowed to opt out

    Actually, if you just watch Amazon and/or Netflix you are allowed to opt out.

  • Mr Ed

    The BBC’s position makes as much sense as a Herefordshire cider maker asking for subsidies so he can compete with Apple. It is a quite astounding display of arrogance to claim that if they get enough free money, they can make stuff better. Does that work with cars?

    I have not had a television for over 8 years. I do not miss it, I would advise everyone to drop TV altogether. When I do hear the BBC, on my car radio (I don’t log on to their website as they require registration) and I hear the tedious prejudice and bias on the radio, I remind myself that I am not paying for it. At work, colleagues occasionally ask me ‘Did you see…?” and then stop themselves and say ‘Oh, but you haven’t got a TV‘ and I smile. When I go to a hotel, if I do turn on the TV, I am struck by how dull, repetitive and absurdly inflexible it is, with commercial channels having synchronised adverts. The only adverts that I remember were endlessly repeated for some form of loans, a firm called Ocean Finance, who endlessly plugged loans to people who could afford Sky but could not manage their finances. I occasionally see references in other media to people who are on ‘the telly’ and I have no idea who they are, or why they are on TV, I do feel quite apart in that way. I fill my head, as and when I wish to, with what I choose and find, not what others choose to send me.

    I read once that there was, in a remote part of East Germany, an area that West German TV could not reach, and it was called informally ‘The Valley of the Naïve’ (Naïfs?), as they only had East German propaganda and nothing even to compare it to. (I do wonder why Ulbricht and his thugs allowed TVs that could be tuned so broadly, but there you are). Here, I regard all those who pay for and watch TV as living in that valley, watching propaganda that Honecker would have killed for.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Actually, if you just watch Amazon and/or Netflix you are allowed to opt out.

    This is sort of true, but with Amazon and Netflix you “opt in”, if you don’t pay for their services then your account does not work, whereas with the BBC there is no account management and it is assumed you’ve opted in and when you don’t pay up you’ll get a visit from Mr Plod asking you to prove that you have actually opted out or face a fine and/or jail, it’s a big disincentive for some.

    You need an account for iPlayer now, so at some point it will be an “opt in” service.

  • pete

    The BBC is sensible to push for more money from the taxpayers because it will get it in the end.

    The establishment knows that the state broadcaster is very useful as a propaganda tool and as an amenable and lucrative source of London based employment for its type of person.

    PS – Runcie Balspune, PC plod is not interested at all in the ‘crime’ of non-payment of a TV licence.

  • Mr Ed

    when you don’t pay up you’ll get a visit from Mr Plod asking you to prove that you have actually opted out or face a fine and/or jail, it’s a big disincentive for some.

    That’s not quite accurate, the visits are from private individuals working for (IIRC) Capita, running an outsourced harassment service. If you don’t register, they then write to the property with threatening letters, and the idea is to harass people into either registering or (ideally) buying a licence. They occasionally prosecute people if they are dumb enough to admit to anything, or if they get a warrant and find a device that receives TV transmissions in the premises. Here is a YT clip of these feckers.

  • Runcie Balspune

    PC plod is not interested at all in the ‘crime’ of non-payment of a TV licence.

    He _is_ interested in the real crime of non-payment of a court imposed fine for non-payment of a TV licence, which is where it inevitably ends up unless you can prove otherwise.

    Or do you think it is easy to avoid court by convincing one of the subcontracted licence collection agents who are paid according to how many fines they can dish out?

  • Alton Benes

    My modest proposal, pace Jonathan Swift: let’s fund a print-only edition of BBC News, through a centrally-administered Newspaper Licence. Then it can compete fairly with News Corp and the Daily Neocon. If you want to buy a copy of the Times, or the Guardian, or the Salisbury Review, all you need to do is present your Newspaper Licence at the designated point of sale, and you can carry off your copy of the Daily Beeb (free at the point of sale! no adverts for gambling, booze, or smut), plus be allowed to pay for something funded by billionaires. It’s all good.

  • Mr Ed

    RB,

    These ‘licence inspectors’ are private citizens, they have no powers, they can, like any citizen make a report or lay an information about a crime, and they cannot ‘dish out fines’ but they can prepare a case for court. If a fine is imposed, then non-payment of the fine can lead to imprisonment by the Court. There does need to be a concerted campaign to re-establish the rule of law in that 1. the golden thread that every prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt every element of an offence, and 2. only admissible evidence is allowed in Court. That might go some way to reining in these cowboys. Frankly, I would send them all on a training session in the Falls Road or some choicer parts of London at night, when people are more likely to be watching TV (if they have to be allowed at all). But I would prefer that their occupation be found (following Dr Bonham’s Case) to be a public nuisance as repugnant to reason and they can all, on conviction get a life sentence for conspiracy to create a public nuisance, sentence served in Belarus to save taxpayer money.

  • bobby b

    Stephen Munslow
    September 20, 2018 at 8:34 am

    “Slightly offtopic: I’ve been trying to log into Tim Worstall’s blog . . . “

    Same problem here. I actually get through about half of the time, but only after a period of time long enough to make me think it’s going to time-out.

  • Paul Marks

    The Conservative Party could have abolished the Television license at any time from 1979 to 1997 (when we had a clear majority in the House of Commons) or even in the early 1960s when BBC leftist bias (“That Was the Week That Was” and so on) was already clear. Instead when Mrs Thatcher of Norman Tebbit said something about the BBC the attitude of the establishment was – “oh how dreadful you are to attack this wonderful institution”.

    Sadly nothing has changed – most ordinary Conservatives despise the BBC (and the so called private alternatives as well – as the people who make up “Ofcom” make sure that ALL television stations in this country are “liberal” left, indeed that is the purpose of Ofcom, just as it is the purpose of the “Electoral Commission” to aid “liberal” forces and to attack “anti liberal” forces in relation to elections and referendums).

    However, Mrs May and the rest of the establishment see no real problem with the BBC – after all it reflects much of their own “world view”.

    Ordinary Conservatives are only slowly coming to understand just how much the leadership hate and despise us – the leadership has nothing in common with the membership of the Conservative Party (or Conservative voters generally) and lots in the common with the BBC and other utterly vile structures.

  • Ordinary Conservatives are only slowly coming to understand just how much the leadership hate and despise us – the leadership has nothing in common with the membership of the Conservative Party (or Conservative voters generally) and lots in the common with the BBC and other utterly vile structures.

    So you’ve resigned from the Tory party and are now an independent councillor Paul? About time…

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