The unspeakable BBC parks its tanks on my lawn

Guest opinion By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

One of the chief reasons why the governing class in Britain near-unanimously supports the climate alarmists is the unspeakable BBC, which, for decades now, has relentlessly endorsed every overblown, half-baked prediction by the profiteers of doom. If it has given coverage to skeptics at all, has done so sparingly and sneeringly.

Its charter and its agreement with the Secretary of State oblige it to be impartial, but it has decided not to be. The bad news, from the BBC’s point of view, is that John Whittingdale, the newly-appointed Cabinet Minister responsible for the BBC’s many sins, has little time for the organization, whose coverage of the recent UK general election was even more biased against the eventually successful Tories than usual.

The Cabinet are out for blood. Well, the best step they could take would be to abolish the BBC license fee of $250 a year (£145.50, to be exact) – not far short of a dollar a day – which everyone who watches any live program on television, whether or not the BBC broadcast it, is obliged by law, on pain of criminal conviction for a misdemeanor, to pay. Let the BBC live by attracting advertising, like everyone else.

I do not pay. I discovered some years ago, when we lived in a remote Highland glen where no television signal could penetrate, that one thinks more independently if one is not constantly exposed to the plethora of pusillanimous, politically-correct prejudices that our news channels provide. I have long given up watching live TV.

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The BBC employs an army of “TV license inspectors” – known to the growing unlicensed community as “goons”. Each goon, tamquam leo rugiens, prowls about with a television detector van, quaerens quem devoret.

When the detector vans first came into use, the then Postmaster-General, Lord de la Warr, said he did not want to create an army of snoopers. The vans (see above) were accordingly made as obvious as possible. When I was a lad, we used to throw doubtful tomatoes at them as they passed, or put mouldy potatoes up their tailpipes: that works better than the banana that Axel Foley used in Beverly Hills Cop (which I didn’t watch on live TV, officer, honest I didn’t).

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Some of the vans (see above) looked like clothes-horses. We often festooned them with pairs of knickers from people’s washing lines, so that they could have gone into the rag trade by the time they returned to base.

The point is that Britain does not like snoopers. An Englishman’s home is his castle – and, in a more real sense, a Scotsman’s home too. The goons, though, are actually very skilled at what they do. Astonishingly, one criminal conviction in every ten in Britain is for evading payment of the TV licence.

A government sufficiently angry with the BBC’s anti-capitalist, anti-enterprise, anti-Tory, anti-carbon, anti-fracking, anti-Britain, anti-freedom, anti-everything bias to take away the absurdly anachronistic licence fee would cut criminality in Britain by 10% at a stroke.

Indeed, it might well cut crime by a good bit more than that, because often it is petty offenses that lead people from the straight and narrow into a life of crime.

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The detector vans now come in two kinds: the visible ones, intended to deter, and the unmarked ones, intended to deceive. Gone is Lord de la Warr’s pious intention not to create an army of snoopers. Most of the vans are now furtive: not such an obvious target for us street brats and our rotten fruit.

The goons write once a month to every one of the 6% of British households that does not have a TV licence. The best legal advice is never, ever to reply. If they turn up at the doorstep, never, ever let them in and never, ever answer any question they ask.

Make them go and get a warrant, but serve them with a schedule of your time-costs before they go. Then, if they return with a warrant, you can charge them whatever you want for having your time wasted. And always video everything they say and do. Half the time they’ll turn and flee as soon as they know they’re on camera.

The goons will often demand your name. Nothing in the law requires you to give it. You are obliged to render them all reasonable assistance in inspecting your equipment. And not a whit more.

On YouTube they have been caught out not only trying to entrap innocent citizens unlawfully but also plugging in unplugged TVs so that they can then say the equipment was capable of receiving a signal.

You can refuse to let them in unless the court confirms a warrant has indeed been issued. The goons can also be legitimately refused entry, even with a warrant, unless and until the BBC or the police have confirmed to you that their identity card is not a fake.

When the goons prove their warrant and their identity and come in, they are entitled to do only one thing: inspect your television, or any other equipment (such as a computer) that may be capable of receiving live TV.

You are allowed to watch recorded programs without a license, but – strange though this must seem to those born in freedom – you must not watch or record live programs without one.

You can watch catch-up TV without a licence. So, if you don’t mind waiting an hour or two or a day or two, you can lawfully watch just about any TV program.

On YouTube there are hundreds of videos of goons penetrating people’s homes, usually without a warrant. In some videos, when householders have refused to give their names, the goons have menaced them with the offense of failing to co-operate.

It is indeed an offense, more serious than that of not having a licence, to fail to assist the goons in inspecting your equipment if they ask, but it is not an offense to refuse to answer any questions other than questions about how your TV works. Specifically, the law does not oblige you to give your name, or to answer any questions about what you do or do not watch. So don’t.

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Shortly after we set up house in Edinburgh, the goons parked a gray, unmarked van with blacked-out rear and side windows (above: the licence-plate is not genuine, for by convention we don’t picture real ones) at the front of the house.

They left the engine running for 45 minutes, which is actually illegal under anti-pollution laws: but in some of the vans that is the only way they can power their detectors.

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Recently, having sent me a letter saying they would take no action till 14 May, on 12 May they parked not one but two unmarked detector vans with blacked-out windows (above, and note the perpetual sunshine that Scotland enjoys each May) outside my house. Entrapment may be unlawful in the U.S., but, shamefully, it is lawful here.

However, if They can detect us, we can detect Them. After I had gone out and ostentatiously photographed the vans from every angle, They drove off, mutteringly disappointed.

Next, They tried doing drive-by shootings, using the same vans. However, we again detected Them trying to detect us. Frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered what vans They’d used. We have the technology. We’re used to defending our property. Once our yacht – a magnificent Flying Fifteen was sent to the bottom of Loch Rannoch and stove in by two RAF Chinooks flying far too low one night and clouting the masthead.

We installed certain devices and, when the RAF police arrived to take our complaint, we showed them a picture of a Tornado fighter flying just 50 feet above our North Lawn. It had been taken from 3000 feet above the lawn. They went white. “How did you get that?” they asked. “We have the technology,” I replied, “but I’m not telling you how we did it.” They still don’t know.

The excessive low flying, which had been a pest for decades and had caused dreadful losses of livestock locally, as well as blowing slates off the roof of our steading and terrifying my late mother-in-law, who had survived the Blitz with equanimity, promptly ceased.

But I digress. I tell this tale of the license fee because, just about everywhere around the world, there is complete astonishment that we allow for a single instant this ridiculous pantomime of the licence fee and the humungous police-state snooping regime and the millions of otherwise blameless criminals it creates. And the staggering, entirely unjustifiable cost of the unspeakable, prejudiced, politically-correct BBC.

In the 21st century, in a free country, the State should not require us to subsidize its TV service to the tune of $4-5 billion a year, particularly when that TV service, in sullen and flagrant breach of its contract with the government and people, altogether refuses to provide balanced coverage of politics, and specifically of climate change.

Why should we have to pay for wall-to-wall Marxism when we can get it for free by listening to the ruling National Socialist Workers’ Party of Scotland, or the Royal Society in England?

At present, I am preparing a report to be sent to the BBC’s trust, a fumbling, toothless watchdog, demonstrating the extent of the corporation’s malevolent and systemic prejudice on the climate question, its wilful misrepresentations and its refusals to correct deliberate errors, and demanding that the trust should take certain specific steps to restore the impartiality that the law entitles the licence-fee payer to expect in return for his dollar a day.

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If the trust fails to respond promptly and properly (on past form this is very likely, for the one-sidedness of the British establishment’s opinion on climate is impenetrable, and the trust are a bunch of blancmanges), we shall complain to the Secretary of State.

If Whitto does nothing, we are gathering our forces and our finances to mount a judicial review of his administrative decision not to act as a reasonable Secretary of State would have to act on being given masses of overwhelming evidence, quietly assembled over many years, of the BBC’s rank prejudice and flagrant, in-your-face bias on the climate question.

They even lied when I took them to the High Court some years ago to make them halve the length of an objectionable 90-minute personal attack. The High Court judge said I’d substantially won the action – it’s in the transcript, and the program’s length was cut to 45 minutes and transferred to BBC 4, which no one watches – but they announced I’d lost.

The Secretary of State, on receiving our letter before action in judicial review, will require the trust to respond. If it does not respond properly to him, he will then be able to give it two choices: do its job or expect legislation to bring to an unlamented end the licence fee, the monstrous poll tax on the poor on which it lives a life of luxury and ease.

Monckton’s Test applies. The test of whether a piece of legislation has passed its smell-by date and ought to be repealed is whether anyone would dream of re-enacting it if it were done away with. No politician would dare to try to reintroduce the hated licence fee once it had been swept away. It has had its chips, as they say from the casinos of Vegas to the fish-shops of Yorkshire. Let it be abolished. Few but the BBC, the goons and the magistrates’ courts would mourn its passing.

You may ask why this has not been done long before now. Margaret Thatcher tried her best. She appointed a sound and saintly but other-worldly academic philosopher to review the licence fee, but he was so impressed by the independent TV companies saying how “special” the BBC was that he left the fee in place.

I saw him some years later and explained to him, as to a child – which he splendidly was in all matters of this world – that the independent companies were the indirect beneficiaries of the licence fee, for otherwise they would have the BBC competing with them for advertising. The licence fee thus subsidizes – and Leftizes – all TV stations in Britain. They didn’t want Auntie – as the BBC is known – sharing their cake.

He saw the point at once. But by then it was far too late. However, John Whittingdale will not bother to set up another enquiry. He is the sort to take swift, decisive and – to the BBC – deadly action. By this time you may be wondering whether he and I are in cahoots. You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

Now that Auntie has parked her tanks on my lawn, I’m going to park mine on hers. Mine are bigger, and they serve the cause of truth, justice, and the British way. Perhaps, once the existing corrupt organization has been purged and the red-blooded Marxists replaced with blue-blooded capitalists, we can have Top Gear back.

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RCS
May 18, 2015 8:09 am

If the BBC was cut down to size, they would have to curtail advertising jobs in the Guardian (the “House Journal” of the BBC).
Two birds with one stone!

Sam The First
Reply to  RCS
May 18, 2015 2:55 pm

Not only that – since all media jobs are advertised in the Guardian, maybe a reformed BBC could start a move to other outlets when advertising for staff. Without the media, social services and teaching job ads, the Guardian would fold pdq – and what a welcome event that would be.
At least we don’t subsidise the Guardian’s leftie propaganda in any other way, unlike the way we are forced to subsidese the BBC to push their PC lies down out throats. Their election coverage this time round was quite scandalous, esp on the night.

Mike
Reply to  Sam The First
May 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Actually we DO subsidise the Guardian. The publically funded BBC both buys massive numbers of the paper and by guaranteeing appearances of their top “journalists” (Toynbee, Owens et al) subsidises their salaries

Patrick
May 18, 2015 8:10 am

Some 200,000 court cases are held in the UK every year for “payment” issues of the TV/Radio tax (Thats what it is). Of that some 200 actually are sent to jail! For not paying a TV tax???! Crazy! But I remember the TV ad’s in the 1970’s about the “detector vans”! I did see one onece in about 1974… lol…

Climate Pete
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 9:18 am

You can listen to the radio without any licence. A licence is only required for live TV, but does not apply to recorded TV made available on BBC iPlayer (Monckton does have this one right).

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 11:34 pm

There was a time when one did need a “receiving” v license to listen to mains powered radio. That was a long long time ago when the BBC was first formed, and I have not lived in the UK for 20 years, so has probably changed.

Santa Baby
May 18, 2015 8:13 am

Strange to over time observe them they beeing mostly Critical and now conform over Our Western society? What happened?

Santa Baby
Reply to  Santa Baby
May 18, 2015 8:14 am

Politically

Kev-in-Uk
May 18, 2015 8:18 am

A good read! As for the Flying Fifteen, I have a classic one I rescued from certain demise still awaiting the new decking and refit (all present and correct), in case His Lordship would be interested, I should let him have it for nothing for his services to the skeptic cause!
Personally, I agree with everything he states about the BBC – it is arrogant, deceitful and downright belligerent! Go get ’em, Sir!

Oldseadog
Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
May 18, 2015 11:13 am

You can come and crew my (old battered but still working) Flying Fifteen, the first carbon fibre one, any time you fancy a sail.

Reply to  Oldseadog
May 18, 2015 2:24 pm

Temptingoffers from Old Sea Dog and Kev-in-UK. I may take you up on them when my schedule is less of a train-wreck.

Stephen Richards
May 18, 2015 8:23 am

Can’t wait to see the end of the arrogant little sh&ts

Oswald Thake
Reply to  Stephen Richards
May 19, 2015 5:25 am

The Government should sell the BBC to Rupert Murdoch! Only a dream, alas, but it’s fun imagining the immediate self-combustion of the Left.

Patrick
May 18, 2015 8:25 am

I refused to pay the UK “TV tax” on principal when I lived there. I payed enough tax as it was. I also refused to pay the “TV tax” in New Zealand (NZ) for the same reasons. Although buying a new TV…sheesh, the ID needed was beyond reason. Anyone in the US would think you were buying a shotgun!!!! But, in NZ a tax on a tax was illegal. So the TV “fee” was deemed a “tax” and that “tax” had GST (A tax) applied to it thus illegal. The case brought against the Govn’t (Circa 1997 I think) won. So now in NZ you don’t pay a “TV tax”, but you “pay” in gutter TV content. Bit like reading The Sun in the UK, page 3 is about as many would venture. Same here in Aus, No “TV tax”, gutter (American – Sorry guys but the many programs transmitted here are from America and are shy*e!).

rbabcock
Reply to  Patrick
May 18, 2015 9:48 am

Patrick- I have “expanded” cable here in the US and have approximately 300 channels of the same shy*e you are forced to watch. We are soon getting 1 GB Internet here and when that happens the plug is going to be pulled. Once that happens I can get what I want on-line and save a ton in the process.
It’s surprising what most of the public will put up with. We have PBS here but subsidies have been cut and they are forced to rely on fundraising and commercial sponsorship. Interesting their programming has gotten a little more mainstream since then.

Winnipeg Boy
Reply to  rbabcock
May 19, 2015 12:57 pm

i cut the cord 2 years ago. No problem at all save for missing some sports. If you want to get pissed off, just turn on the news over the Air, and bingo.
A question…. My teen – twenties kids absolutely do not watch tv and they lean very right in all political theory despite best efforts of their teachers. Is the left going to lose its young base without this traditional indoctrination machine?

JimBob
Reply to  Patrick
May 18, 2015 10:08 pm

Hi Patrick!
I am in complete agreement as to the er, ahem …. ‘quality’ of much, or most, American TV.
I pretty much quit watching it…… oh, longer ago than I care to mention.
Nowadays, if I want to watch something, I can choose WHAT and WHEN I watch via the Web.

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 12:29 am

A mate of mine from the UK who now lives in Thailand sells a device that can stream almost any content from the internet, sort of a “Netflix” type thing. Stream what you want when you want and bins all the adverts. At least 45% of airtime TV in Aus is ads, repeats or “news”.
To be fair, there are some good American TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory”, but we also have “The Bold and The Beautiful”, “Pawn Stars” and something to do with a bunch of people bidding for abandoned luggage. I mean, what gives? Who comes up with this carp?

PaulH
May 18, 2015 8:26 am

The CBC here in Canada has the same biases as the BBC, but we don’t have to deal with the same “license” fees and detector vans. However, the CBC requires a $1 billion bailout per year to function, this amount provided by the taxpayers of course. Why invest in snooper vans when they can extract it directly from the taxpayers?

gingoro
Reply to  PaulH
May 18, 2015 8:33 am

I live in Ottawa, 10 or so blocks from Parliament and am unable to get any TV reception at all. I refuse to pay the cable company (wogers) 80$/month to get to see the channels I would like. Thank God I almost never see the CBC except when we are traveling and then I find most of what they have not to be worth watching. The apartment buildings north and south of our house block almost all signals. I suggest to my faux gliberal mp that we close the CBC down but he never sends me an answer.

RonT
Reply to  gingoro
May 19, 2015 6:28 am

I complained about the CBC for years. Especially on Saturday night – they held much of Canada captive with Hockey Night In Canada yet did little advertising with the exception of promoting their own (mostly) silly programs where actors were expected to speak with British accents. Socialist television does not like to advance free market business. Environmentalism including climate change was solely David Suzuki and his left agenda..

FrankKarrv
Reply to  PaulH
May 19, 2015 3:29 pm

PaulH re Canada. In Oz the same, no licence fee but we pay 1.5 billion a year for leftist-green propaganda from aunty ABC. Practically all commentators and certainly all journalists are on the left. 40% are painted green the rest extreme left wing. No conservatives visible. The constant BS about “climate change” is overwhelming. They seem to live in their own fantasy world.

Alan the Brit
May 18, 2015 8:29 am

Sadly, I think it is time for the Licence Fee to go. The BBC make a big song & dance about it & the “unique” way ib which it is funded enabling it to make high quality programmes. However, in light of its blatant bias, the meetin of the “28”, a few years ago in which it arbitrarily decided it was nolonger going to be “impartial” on global warming on the basis of the “weight of evidence”. It is very true what Lord Monkton says, both he & Dellingpole were made out to appear odd &/or foolish people on recent porgrammes where they feigned impartiallity. The Licence Fee must go!

SandyInLimousin
May 18, 2015 8:34 am

I grew up in a house without electricity and my mother continued living there until the 1990s, still without electricity. In her later years she had an ongoing battle with the goons over her TV Tax. She used to take a great deal of pleasure writing back to every letter inviting them to visit to check there was no electricity and hence no TV. This went on for quite a while, and included some phone calls if my memory serves me right. Eventually after more than one visit she was left in peace, I have my suspicions that the detector vans used to pass by fairly regularly just to check.
They were very keen in those days to catch out a potential dodger even though she was in her 70s whereas now she wouldn’t have had to pay.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  SandyInLimousin
May 18, 2015 1:43 pm

Sandy, I have a feeling the vans area bit of a hoax themselves.
“The goons write once a month to every one of the 6% of British households that does not have a TV licence. The best legal advice is never, ever to reply. If they turn up at the doorstep, never, ever let them in and never, ever answer any question they ask.”
They try to intimidate people into registering and paying because ‘detecting’ a TV is not that easy. I am sure the ‘obvious vans’ were 100% fakery with nothing inside that could ‘detect’ a TV that was switched off. In the old days the flyback voltage could be detected and looking for 59.94 HZ (NTSC and early PAL) in a 50 HZ household gave them a change, at least. Neighbours reporting was more likely.
The problem is anything with a screen had the same frequencies so even if it was on, they’d have to literally see it. Unplugging everything would make detection far more difficult. They would have to ping it one way or another. For a modern LED set it would be very difficult if it is not turned on.
The ‘detection’ was primarily, like the example of your mother with no licence, chasing and harassing people without one hoping some of them were watching and hoping to guilt some of those into paying. This business of charging for junk you didn’t want assisted by political correctness and guilt backed by curious laws no one is individually in favour of sounds a great deal like climate alarmism.

dbs44
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 18, 2015 7:41 pm

I agree that the goons are trying to guilt people into paying. However, detection of radio or TV receivers is real. Receivers emit a weak radio frequency signal from their local oscillators. This weak signal can be detected by a van equipped with detector gear.
During WWII the Royal Navy used similar technology to direction find German S-boats. The Germans did not normally transmit with their radios but they had to have their radios switched on to receive instructions from shore based radar operators. After 1941, though, the Germans began shielding the LO emissions from their radios.
During 1943 a POW told the Germans that the Allies were locating U-boats by homing in LO emissions from the U-boat’s radar detectors. It wasn’t true, but the well placed lie caused the Germans to put into effect all kinds of unneeded counter measures.

Patrick
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 19, 2015 12:38 am

There is (Was?) a thing called a “stautory right of entrance” to your home whereby *any* employee from say the gas board, power company, council and of course TV “inspectors” were, legally, alowed entrance to your home. I am not sure if this is the case anymore. But, yes, I have seen these types (Albeit just doing their job) stuff their foot in the door to try to prevent my parents from shutting the door. My parents method worked almost every time to the detriment of the offending foot!

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 19, 2015 2:05 pm

If you are familiar with the term TEMPEST you may know that it is possible to not only detect a TV, but to actualy see what is being displayed.

Reply to  SandyInLimousin
May 19, 2015 2:32 am

The used to detect the leak up the antenna of the local oscillator frequency so they could tell which programme you were watching.
I checked the TV schedules today for the 40 plus channels available for free, I selected one repeat on the BBC, perhaps it’s time to cancel my license.

S2
May 18, 2015 8:40 am

Blancmange?

Reply to  S2
May 18, 2015 8:52 am

See the picture of the object labeled “BBC Trust”. The characteristics of a blancmange are that it is bland, tasteless, wobbly, and indigestible. The characteristics of the trust are …

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 1:23 pm

I’d never actually seen one until I scrolled down to the picture. “Wot’s that?” sez I. “‘At mus’ be one o’ them blonkmonjes. Sure enough, my suspicion was confirmed a second later. I stifled an urge to prod it with a fork to see if it were sentient. . .

E.M.Smith
Editor
Reply to  S2
May 18, 2015 8:54 am

Milk, sugar, gelatin. Used as a food for the sick…
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blancmange

Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 9:13 am

It was a great Monty Python sketch

Yirgach
Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 2:39 pm

Like this:

jdgalt
Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 19, 2015 9:14 pm

I can see why you don’t want to pay the tax just to see that.

Latitude
May 18, 2015 8:42 am

We got rid of TV years ago…..

Matthew Benefiel
May 18, 2015 8:46 am

Wow, I remember that back in 2000 when I lived with my family in the village of Dalham in Suffolk County near New Market. As Americans we were flabbergasted by not only having to pay a TV tax but the magnitude of hatred from the little notes the “goons” left. After months of threats my father finally walked the inspector in, showed him our American TV plugged into a transformer, walked him back out, and told him to leave us alone. It worked, they left us alone after that and we spent more time fixing up the thatch roof cottage grounds and riding bikes around Suffolk County than watching TV.

Patrick
Reply to  Matthew Benefiel
May 18, 2015 9:22 am

The UK TV “tax” applies to any BBC live boadcast of TV, radio or live stream TV or radio on ANY device. Yonks ago one would have to pay just to listen to MAINS powred radio.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Patrick
May 18, 2015 9:34 am

When I went to university, I was told that I had to buy a licence for my transistor radio, as it was now being used away from my parents’ house.

MikeB
Reply to  Patrick
May 18, 2015 11:47 am

Not quite Patrick
The BBC licence fee is required for any live broadcast, whether from the BBC or not.
I f you just watch Sky TV, you are still required, by law, to pay the BBC

richard verney
Reply to  Patrick
May 18, 2015 1:08 pm

Muke B
makes the material point, namely you have to pay to watch live television even if you do not watch any BBC TV. That is what is wrong with the system, being forced to pay even if you do not watch any BBC rogramme content.
.
Can you imagine how a Mirror reader (the Mirror is a left leaing tabloid newspaper) would react if every time they bought that newspaper they were required to pay say 30 pence to the Telegraph (a right leaning broadsheet newspaper) even though they do not read the Telegraph.
Can you imagine the uproar that would be caused if a ‘tax’ was imposed on say Halal meat which ‘tax’ went to subsidise pig breeders
It is unacceptable to force people to subscribe to a political party and the BBC is the mouthpiece of any political party leaning to the left of the labour party when the person who is forced to subscibe holds different views. The BBC have given up reporting news lond ago. It is now the opinion according to the BBC. Just watch a news broadcast and see how little fact is reported and the majority of the programme is taken up by the political editor, business editor or whatever relevant correspondent being interviewed by the newsreader, or just presenting a piece to camera.
It is a basic human right to be able to watch TV, and there are many single and lonely people whose only significant form of entertainment is TV. Why cannot those people watch everything other than BBC channels and then not having to pay any licence fee.
All modern TVs and set top boxes can be used to block BBC channels (ie., some decoding card required or pincode). It is about time the licence fee was scrapped and those who wish to watch everything other than BBC channels can do so for free (but bombarded with adverts), and those who wish to additionally watch the BBC pay a subscription.
Personally I would never pay for the BBC due to its bias, even though I would lose out since the BBC do make some good programmes. As they say, principles are costly, and as a matter of principle I would not support the BBC by paying a licence fee. If it was impartial (and I include its stance on climate change in this), I would happily pay the fee since I consider that £145 is good value notwithstanding the huge waste that goes on in that corporation (and I know the extent of that very well as my sister’s boyfriend worked for the BBC and I use to regularly hang out in its subsidised bars).

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 12:44 am

“Richard Mallett
May 18, 2015 at 9:34 am”
Struth! I am not surprised TBH.

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 12:48 am

“MikeB
May 18, 2015 at 11:47 am”
My memory is not what it used to be, even though it’s pretty good most of the time. And in hindsight, it was what I meant. As we know, the whole thing is a scam, A license to listen to raido? Another to watch black and white TV? Another to watch colour TV? It was farcical after colour broadcasts were made.

Patrick
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 12:50 am

“richard verney
May 18, 2015 at 1:08 pm
Can you imagine the uproar that would be caused if a ‘tax’ was imposed on say Halal meat which ‘tax’ went to subsidise pig breeders”
This happens in Australia right now. We even pay a “halal” tax on…chocolate!

jdgalt
Reply to  Patrick
May 19, 2015 9:17 pm

I haven’t had a working TV since the US upgraded to digital. But I don’t miss it. Most of the shows I care about can be found on the Internet if you know where to look.

John V. Wright
May 18, 2015 8:46 am

If Christopher Monckton did not exist, we would have to invent him. Every day, BBC ‘journalists’ betray its public broadcasting charter. It shamelessly follows the Establishment line, whatever it happens to be. If the Establishment decided that eating babies was a good thing, the BBC would instantly have several cookery programmes with celebrity chefs demonstrating the best cuts of baby and devising elegant sauces to accompany the dishes. Thank God that people like Christopher Monckton have the will, the energy and the spirit to tackle these leftist vipers who suck the lifeblood from the nation. Go get ’em Christopher!

Jim Francisco
Reply to  John V. Wright
May 19, 2015 6:46 am

I’m beginning to wonder if the Brits really do have a ministry of funny walks.

BrazilianBrew
Reply to  John V. Wright
May 19, 2015 9:40 am

I don’t think you can claim that the BBC follows an Establishment line….. it follows a BBC line – perhaps even worse!!

E.M.Smith
Editor
May 18, 2015 8:47 am

The idea of a TV tax / license is as crazy as taxing air (CO2).
Per detector vans, seems like some cheap oscilators on the right frequencies could drive them nuts. While the use of a protective cage around the TV could block detection. Metal cabinet with clear front of grounded conductive surface would do it.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparent_conducting_film
Just close the cabinet when a knock on the door comes…
I often travel with a TV tuner for my laptop (coat about $60) so in theory I could be a criminal at airport arrival… who knew…

MikeB
Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 11:52 am

The thing about ‘detector vans ’is a red herring. Every household in the UK is on a database and that database records if the address has a TV Licence or not. If not, you get a visit from the friendly TV inspector, irrespective of whether you have a TV, watch a TV or not.

Reply to  MikeB
May 18, 2015 1:51 pm

Don’t they use the vans to catch scofflaws?

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  MikeB
May 18, 2015 1:51 pm

MikeB and Ric
Both correct. It was mostly guessing. If they looked for power supplies, they were 50 HZ or about 35k for switching power supplies. But could be literally anything. It seems to have relied on The List and fear mongering. These days they have a different climate list and fear mongering. Typical. Same old formula applied in the new season.

Helen RW
May 18, 2015 8:47 am

I’ve seen the YouTubes, which are at once hilarious and horrifying.
Imagine how the UK would eliminate 10%++ of its criminality with the stroke of a pen. This could only be opposed by monsters.

May 18, 2015 8:48 am

If we’re going to abolish pointless, antiquated and irrelevant deeds, then how about we start with hereditary titles? Hmmm Mr Monkton?

Reply to  Kit Carruthers
May 18, 2015 8:53 am

Somewhat off topic, one feels. I’m a national treasure. The BBC isn’t.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:00 am

That’s the 2nd thing you’ve written today that’s genuinely made me LOL 🙂

meltemian
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 10:01 am

Indeed you are sir.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 1:34 pm

I agree. I shall never forget the video of Lord Monckton diving from an airplane to combat Warmism. Nobly done.

Marty
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 1:41 pm

We also appreciate you here in America!

Sam The First
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 4:59 pm

Agreed; and besides, we do not have to subsidise you or the broadcasting of your opinions by way of a mandated tax.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 19, 2015 11:56 am

You are both national treasures! But the BBC is a treasure that should be buried.

E.M.Smith
Editor
Reply to  Kit Carruthers
May 18, 2015 8:58 am

If you do that, start at the top with the monarchy and work your way down…. ought to be fun to watch the attempt 🙂

Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 9:15 am

But the monarchy is a national treasure too, and, like me, a net earner of international revenue. The BBC is a millstone around the necks of the poor. Keep the monarchy, elect the Lords, abolish the BBC. Sorted.

Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 11:39 am

What is your proposal for electing the Lords? A fixed number from among all who are eligible by having been born into or granted a title? Or strictly geographically, as with Commons constituencies? Presumably by combining constituencies, as is done with US state assembly legislative districts to make senate districts.

richard verney
Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 1:34 pm

It is a great shame that the old Lords was done away with,. The Lords had been stripped of its powers and was a good debating chamber. The system was antiquainted, indeed a relic, but somehow it worked quite well.
None of the revisions made these past 20 or so years have been an improvement. Quite the contrary. Now we have the largest 2nd chamber in the world stuffed full of cronies. It is no better capable than before the various changes, and is vastly more expensive and because of patronage less objective.
The House of Commons should be cut to about 300 MPs. The 2nd chamber should no longer be called the House of Lords and should consist of no more than 150 people. They should work say 48weeks a year with 3 of these weeks being given to the conference season (2 of those weeks will therefore be a holiday for many). Since there is no point in simply duplicating the House of Commons, the 2nd chamber should be elected differently.
It should be compulsory to qualify for either chamber that the candidate has at least 10 perhap 15 years experience in employment in a real profit making business (not PR, advertising, lobbying consultants, research assistants). In fact, it would not be a bad idea if people were automatically debarrred from candidature if they had worked in PR, advertising, lobbying consultants, research assistants etc.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2015 3:44 pm

And none of the candidates should follow any political party, just their own consciences.

jdgalt
Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 19, 2015 9:21 pm

@richard verney: Why work them that hard? The Texas legislature meets for 6 weeks every other year — and still gets everything necessary done, even though a “sunset law” requires all their state agencies to be reauthorized every ten years. They should be the model for the world.

richard verney
Reply to  Kit Carruthers
May 18, 2015 1:18 pm

No one is forced to pay a subscription/tax to support hereditary titles. Indeed, most titled families pay copious amounts of inheretence tax as estates are passed on, although with the right trust set up and tax planning this can be minimised.
What is repugnant is the generous fees that are paid to land owners to allow the erection of a wind turbine on their land. That is robbing the poor to pay the rich; but hey that is typically a greenie thing to do so you probably have no concerns at that inequity.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2015 2:13 pm

Indeed, most titled families pay copious amounts of inheretence tax as estates are passed on, although with the right trust set up and tax planning this can be minimised.

Some estates passed with 50% tax to an elderly relative who promptly died leaving it to someone else in the family, with another 50% tax. It is very distressing to say the last, to have to buy one’s own place back at full value. One resolves this by calling the National Trust for an appointment. They even took the swans on the moat.

mickgreenhough
May 18, 2015 8:49 am

see the europrobe.org 2012 – 015 The Great Global Warming Fraud and 015 – 054 The Sinister History of the BBC  MG From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Monday, 18 May 2015, 16:03 Subject: [New post] The unspeakable BBC parks its tanks on my lawn #yiv7450545521 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7450545521 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7450545521 a.yiv7450545521primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7450545521 a.yiv7450545521primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7450545521 a.yiv7450545521primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7450545521 a.yiv7450545521primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7450545521 WordPress.com | Guest Blogger posted: “Guest opinion By Christopher Monckton of BrenchleyOne of the chief reasons why the governing class in Britain near-unanimously supports the climate alarmists is the unspeakable BBC, which, for decades now, has relentlessly endorsed every overblown, ha” | |

Alx
May 18, 2015 8:51 am

The BBC does produce some of the best TV fiction programming in the world, which goes to show government supported programs doesn’t have to be all bad.
Unfortunately the idiots in charge have a much lower ability to think than ability to stuff their bellies; non-fiction TV becomes an easy and practical method to keep their bellies full.
It is amazing how reality often is infinitely stranger than fiction. I doubt any BBC fiction writer could have imagined “snooper goon vans”, leading to 200,000 court cases a year and 10% of all criminal convictions.

Reply to  Alx
May 18, 2015 8:59 am

Alx is right. You coulnd’t make this up. No one would believe you.
In the last year for which figures are available, TV licensing prosecutions accounted for more than 1 in 8 of all prosecutions in the magistates’ courts, which in turn handle 98% of all criminal cases. Some 153,000 were prosecuted and nearly all of them were given rubber-stamp convictions.

Yirgach
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 2:53 pm

I am waiting for the Goon Police to come here (USA), as I have been watching BBC series many times over the years using Internet Proxies/TOR. I do pay for BBC America, but it ain’t the same.
Good luck idiots.

E.M.Smith
Editor
Reply to  Alx
May 18, 2015 9:05 am

In Albuquerque New Mexico IIRC the city, they have Lawn Police who come by to measure your lawn size and verify the grass type. Yes, lawns must conform…
In San Jose california, too much IR or smoke from the fireplace chimney gets you busted on cold still air days (or whenever the authorities decide you ought not use your fireplace…) New fireplaces are illegal.
It isn’t just the British who have daft laws…

Stevan Makarevich
Reply to  E.M.Smith
May 18, 2015 3:54 pm

Not to mention Housing Associations, which Stalin would be proud of (a topic all of its’ own).

Reply to  Alx
May 18, 2015 9:27 am

“The BBC does produce some of the best TV fiction programming in the world, which goes to show government supported programs doesn’t have to be all bad.”
They produce so much stuff that they occasionally, and by accident, produce something worth watching. Once they discover how good it is, they generally take it off (like Top Gear).
Considering their funding – £3.7bn per year – it would be a considerable feat to make only terrible programmes. They often manage it for weeks on end though.
They must also have a CO2 footprint the size of Algore, considering the number of people they fly around the world at the drop of a hat. 400 I believe for the Beijing Olympics.
So, another bunch of lefty hypocrites then…

Richard Mallett
Reply to  soarergtl
May 18, 2015 9:44 am

I did hear that the BBC paid Russell Brand more than the entire budget of Radio 5. I would not be surprised if Clarkson was up there as well.

Dave
Reply to  soarergtl
May 18, 2015 11:31 am

The BBC also make a considerble ‘killing’ on selling the products they produce around the world therefore they aren’t averse to the concept of commercialisation, hence let (make) them take advertising to support their position.
For the viewer it is not now, nor has it ever been, about the money (licence fee) since many, many people happily pay over £700 ($1,000) per year subscribing to SkyTV – and they have to pay the BBC licence fee ON TOP! It’s the principle. The BBC licence fee is mandatory and you get harrassed even if you DON’T have a TV set as they don’t seem to accept the principle that some people actually don’t use one! This is the ‘attitude’ that creates the resentment that will kill the BBC licence fee.
Personally, I simply refuse to pay. The BBC don’t abide by their Charter therefore I don’t subscribe to financing them to break their own rules. Sue me.

M Courtney
May 18, 2015 8:58 am

Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.
UK talent excels – look at the casts of the big US TV series and Blockbusters.
Our Movie studios are second to none (sorry Hollywood).
And we have spinoff industries in fields as diverse as cutting edge special effects and armourers.
This is because we have a vibrant TV production sector in the UK.
Of course, Roger Harrabin needs to be sacked as he is demonstrably biased to point of deceit.
But Harrabin and the Green bias is not the entirety of the BBC.

Reply to  M Courtney
May 18, 2015 10:30 am

M says:
Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.
In this case, let’s.
All those actors and producers will still be around, and they will be more free to produce the entertainment they want, without having to be politically correct if they don’t want to be.

MCourtney
Reply to  dbstealey
May 18, 2015 11:30 am

In the short term, yes.
But then they start to retire and the system that made our successful industry is gone.

Reply to  dbstealey
May 18, 2015 11:47 am

The good crew, producers, writers, actors, etc will flourish under a free enterprise system. The dreck won’t. British independent productions are better than the Beeb’s, by and large. I suppose you could argue that some of the indie personnel might have benefited from working at Auntie, but not so much any more. IMO the British entertainment industry and journalism would flourish without the Orwellian license fee system. The Beeb might even survive by adopting the US CPB system of begging from its viewers. I prefer commercials to those telethon sessions, however. It could also charge the CPB more for the content the Beeb supplies to US public TV or to cable or streaming sources.

MikeB
Reply to  M Courtney
May 18, 2015 11:59 am

Are you kidding? The best thing on TV is Game of Thrones and guess what? The BBC didn’t make it.
The BBC makes games shows, soaps, reality TV and mass market entertainment which I am forced, by pain of imprisonment, to pay for, whether I like it or not, watch it or not.

MCourtney
Reply to  MikeB
May 18, 2015 1:39 pm

Yes, the best thing on TV is Game of Thrones. And it’s cast is full of Brits.
Our repertory theatre, drama schools and the BBC have given us a talent pool that makes us far more successful in this industry than we should expect to be.

Reply to  MikeB
May 18, 2015 1:45 pm

IMO, the BBC could survive without the regressive tax of a license fee. If you must have nationalized TV and radio, then do it like the US CPB. Let Parliament decide how much to grant it from tax receipts rather than dunning the poor disproportionately more than the rich. Let the Beeb ask for donations from its upscale viewers and corporations. Or it could try flying by its own wings through ads.
How a once even semi-free society can permit such an outrage left over from the totalitarian 20th century to continue is beyond me.

Editor
May 18, 2015 9:02 am

While not blessed with TV tax here in the States, I too discarded my TV decades ago.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
May 18, 2015 9:38 am

Me too.

bones
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
May 18, 2015 9:49 am

I still watch the weather forecasts during tornado season and watch the news once in a while. Doesn’t matter which network – they’re all SeeBS.

ConfusedPhoton
May 18, 2015 9:03 am

Is there still a mechanism whereby over 100, 000 signatures on the formal petition (E-petitions I believe) brings it to parliament?
Perhaps this would be a good time to start one?

Reply to  ConfusedPhoton
May 18, 2015 9:12 am

In reply to ConfuesdPhoton, there is indeed a procedure for putting a topic before Parliament if 100,000 signatures can be mustered. Over to you to start one.

bit chilly
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 19, 2015 5:32 am
Reply to  ConfusedPhoton
May 18, 2015 1:59 pm

Can you request access to the same database BBC uses for billing and licensing?

MikeN
May 18, 2015 9:06 am

You say no one would think to pass it again. Yet Obama has done the same with health care.

Reply to  MikeN
May 18, 2015 9:10 am

No one would think to pass it again. I rest my case.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 1:57 pm

“If you like your license free TV, you can keep your license free TV…”

Mike Smith
May 18, 2015 9:08 am

I don’t know if it’s still the case, but in years past, you were eligible for a small (maybe 5-10%) discount on the TV License fee if… you were legally blind.
Anyway, when television transitioned from monochrome to color, the Beeb saw the opportunity to rake in more dosh by restricting the original license to monochrome and introducing a substantially more expensive color license. But they ran into an enforcement glitch since their detector vans with the spinning roof racks couldn’t distinguish whether you were watching mono or color. That’s when they started requiring retailers to report all color TV sales.
Don’t you love progressives.

richard verney
Reply to  Mike Smith
May 18, 2015 1:41 pm

I don’t think that the old dedector vans were very efficient.
When colour came out, the resolution was upped from 405 to 625 lines, and this was broadcast on a different frequency. A different aerial was required. You could tell which houses had a colour set by the aerial on top of the house. More often than not they had two aerials as this saved the expense of removing the old redundant aerial.

knr
May 18, 2015 9:09 am

Meanwhile over at the Guardian post the election they gone full rant mode about how the BBC is right wing and pro-Troy . Which if it was true would mean the Tories would be more than happy to keep the BBC as it is now , has ironically the Guardian and fellow travellers are, and yet that is not the case , which seems odd!
Could be we are seeing the difference between those that consider nothing but unquestioning support is acceptable and without it you are the enemy and those that consider that a it is possible to be critical and still an friend ?

TinyCO2
Reply to  knr
May 18, 2015 9:35 am

In a way the BBC is anti Labour, and for those on the left that might seem pro Tory. The BBC is now a political party in its own right and campaigns endlessly. Needless to say, its leanings are only slightly to the right of the wacky Green party. I suspect that many BBC employees are responsible for Carolyn Lucas’ success.

richard verney
Reply to  TinyCO2
May 18, 2015 1:43 pm

The BBc is left of labour. It probably loves the SNP.

Sam The First
Reply to  TinyCO2
May 18, 2015 5:18 pm

I’m told by friends who have worked for Auntie, that anyone who thinks we would be better off outside the EU is considered certifiable by BBC operatives. If you’re anti EU, you just wouldn’t get a job there now – and that’s been the case for many years.
On so many topics of importance, there truly is a culture of Group Think, which makes the obligation to subsdise it all the more outrageous to those of us who share none its biased belief system

BrazilianBrew
May 18, 2015 9:10 am

Living far from Britain for 35 years I always missed the quality of the BBC programs. When the internet arrived 20 years ago I was delighted to access the BBC website and, a couple of years later, the BBC World News on cable. Sadly, as time has passed, I’ve witnessed a dumbing-down of all that is available on the BBC and after yet another “improvement” to their website i hardly access it any more. The news I watch every day but cringe with some of their views expressed and even more so with their selection of important topics requiring blanket coverage and even more so with some which they ignore. Their cable coverage is supposed to be financed by advertising and if some of the rubbish they serve up can garner advertising, then just imagine what halfway decent programs could obtain.
Abolish the licence fee.

Jim Francisco
May 18, 2015 9:11 am

Britain sounds like one of the best examples of the old saying “a great place to visit you just don’t want to live there”.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Jim Francisco
May 18, 2015 9:28 am

Jim. When you consider everything (scenery, people, medical system, social security, standard of living, education, access to Europe, language) it’s actually a fantastic place to live. We have our problems (who doesn’t?), but when you weigh everything, it’s just great. And I only know that, not because I have travelled (I actually haven’t!), it’s because people I speak to who settle here from all over the world, tell me so. I was speaking to a Canadian a few months ago (and we think Canada is idyllic) who said he had been all over the globe, but couldn’t and wouldn’t leave England.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 9:49 am

I think the best part of living in my part of England is that there are no extremes of climate. Not too hot or cold or wet or dry.

Jim Francisco
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 10:23 am

Well Big Jim, if I could afford it I might try it for a few years. I bet it would be fun and very enjoyable. The Brits I have met were great.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 2:03 pm

Biased sample. Now go poll all the people who choose not to live there, Big Jim. I think the latter far outnumber those in your sample.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 11:34 pm

Er…ok…it could take me a while…

Richard Mallett
May 18, 2015 9:11 am

You almost had me going there for a while. As soon as you mentioned bringing back that laddish programme filmed in an aircraft hangar called Top Gear, I knew that you were joking.

Reply to  Richard Mallett
May 18, 2015 9:21 am

Well, I had plans to invite Jeremy Clarkson to let me have a go at getting around his test track as a Star in a Reasonably-Priced Sedan Chair. I had worked out a way of comfortably beating any mere motor vehicle’s time. But now it is not to be.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:32 am

The trouble with sedan chairs is that you can’t get the staff to power them nowadays.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:39 am

No problem: Elf ‘n’ Safety (aka wee Jaikie Hammond and Captain Slow) were going to provide the motive power.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:59 am

Now that would have been worth the licence fee 🙂

May 18, 2015 9:13 am

Name calling rant.

Reply to  arcanitecartel
May 18, 2015 11:31 am

Rant acknowledging Name, over …

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:08 pm

That’s an excellent riposte to the lack of a hyphen!

Duster
Reply to  arcanitecartel
May 18, 2015 11:50 am

Work for BBC do you?

Bob MacLean
May 18, 2015 9:13 am
saveenergy
Reply to  Bob MacLean
May 18, 2015 5:37 pm

just signed,
there are 141,786 signatures

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 9:21 am

Am I the only Brit who is disappointed that this article, written by a fellow Brit, is written in American English? It’s a small point, and I deeply share his annoyance at the BBC (which has become rather a pathetic joke here in Britain), but I also share, along with many others, an equally deep annoyance that we are subjected to the American way of spelling on a daily basis – especially where the world of computers are concerned.
It’s ‘licence’ fee. (I note it slips out in more than one paragraph!)
It’s ‘offence’.
I have no problem with American English…when it’s from an American. But my computer has a processor at its centre, I have to pay a licence fee, otherwise I will commit an offence. My car has tyres on it, there is no trunk or hood, but it does have bumpers. The Americans have already nicked (stolen) the ‘e’ on the end of ‘develop’, and I’m not happy about that. But will someone in America PLEASE tell me why you insist on calling a toilet, a bathroom? I watched an American film (movie) the other week where two blokes (guys) were deep in a forest. One said to the other, “I need to go to the bathroom”. Eh???!!! Seriously, will someone answer why you don’t just say toilet, or loo, or khazi. Peeing up against a tree is NOT going to the bathroom. Grrrrrr!

Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 9:28 am

For a largely U.S. audience I try to remember to use U.S. spellings. I don’t always get them right, though. And it’s non-U to call Crapper’s enduring invention the “toilet”. One can honor his memory by calling it by his name. Or one can ask where the usual offices are, or request to test the plumbing.
Or, after dinner, when the ladies retreat to the withdrawing-room, the gentlemen can go through the French windows from the eating room and micturate on the lawn. At Churchill’s dinner parties at Chartwell, this ritual was regularly observed, and the view from the lawn across Kent was very fine.
Churchil once sidled up to Patrick Donner, then a young and bashful Conservative MP, and one of the two dozen who bravely stood by Churchill during the fatal years of appeasement, as Patrick was watering the shrubbery, and grunted: “Patrick, be sure to remember, when you come to write your memoirs, that you have peed with the greatest in the land.” Patrick remembered.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:31 am

Sorry Moncky, but it wasn’t Crapper’s invention, it was Sir John Harrington.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:35 am

I bow to the Ghost’s posterior knowledge.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:36 am

I like it.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 10:51 am

Harrington’s version was too smelly because it lacked the S-trap, invented by Cummings in 1775. It was also too loud for Elizabeth I. Crapper further improved toilet design by among, other advances, the floating ballcock (I know, I know).
However, whether you say “bathroom” or “toilet”, you’re speaking American either way. The use of “toilet” as a euphemism for the can is as American as “bathroom” and apple pie (although I’m not sure about the latter).

Brian D Finch
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 1:01 pm

In the pub I used to drink in, a retired Artillery Major (on returning from the cludgie) used to announce to any that would listen that: ‘The camels have been fed, watered and fresh straw issued.’

Jack
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 1:12 pm

SO does thaqt mean we should say we are having a Harrington?

Larry in Texas
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 10:02 pm

Oh, Lord Monckton, it’s okay if you use English spellings once in a while in your writing here. It is English pronunciation that drives me more batty. Like saying “Southwark” as “Suthuck.” Or “Norwich” as “Nor-ich.” Lol!

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:42 pm

Larry, like you don’t have your own? Arkan-saw? And, Poughkeepsie?

Arsten
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 19, 2015 6:50 am

Jim,
Arkansas isn’t an English word (or even an Americanized English word) it’s a native American word. I believe it’s from the Quapaw tribe. A rather large number of place-names in the US were adopted from their previous owners.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 9:30 am

There once was CRUST = Campaign to Resist United States Terminology; but now that everybody uses billion to mean 10^9, I realise (spelt with an s, mister spell checker) that resistance is futile.

Darrin
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 1:26 pm

It’s just considered more polite to say “I have to go use the bathroom” when amongst mixed company or people you don’t know. When with good friends an American is just as likely to announce “I have to piss” or “take a crap” than say “use the bathroom”.

Katherine
Reply to  Darrin
May 18, 2015 5:11 pm

At a former office, it was just a key phrase: bio break.

Sam The First
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 5:26 pm

My own pet hate so far as Americanisations go, is the recent horror ‘burglarized’.
What pray is so wrong with the old past participle, ‘burgled’, that it needs to be reinvented?

David Wells
May 18, 2015 9:23 am

I regularly take issue with the Today program to the point when the latest editor squawked “we don’t peddle scaremongering rhetoric” I sent them a long list of their malfeasance and since then they have not replied I don’t even get an auto response email.
I adopted the same stance with the Times and Sunday times specifically Tim Montgomery and Hugo Rifkind who in response to me quoting him RSS/UAH data said “I know that this information is out there but I don’t believe it”.
My feeling is that Whittingdale may not be as responsive as Christopher would like to believe. Cameron who said naively and insincerely said “vote blue and get green” has appointed a Tory halfwit Amber Rudd(erless) to replace the LibDem halfwit Ed Davey and she has said that Ed Milibands climate change act is her guiding light and 2C her target adding that their is not a cigarette paper between her and the Labour party.
Cameron wants us to stay onboard with the EU despite his rhetoric and whilst John Redwood and some other Tory sceptics say what they want when Cameron negotiates with the EU is an honest energy policy that recognises wind and solar cannot keep the lights on no matter how many you plant on or off shore he wont take kindly to a BBC that dispels his and Samantha’s green advocacy.
My feeling is that there is as much chance of the licence fee fading away as the dinosaurs reappearing next Sunday. Whatever we may feel about the EU and its energy policy it is here to stay how exactly do these guys eat the enormous volume of humble pie necessary to row back on their conviction to save the planet?

Richard Mallett
Reply to  David Wells
May 18, 2015 9:37 am

This is something that the Americans don’t seem to understand – over here, the reds and the blues are both trying to ‘out green’ each other.

Reply to  Richard Mallett
May 18, 2015 9:42 am

The Traffic-Light Tendency – the Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds – make me Blue with sadness and Purple with fury.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 10:03 am

Reminds me of that memorable song – ‘I’ve got those Green with Envy, Purple with Passion, White with Anger, Scarlet with Fever, What were you doing in his arms last night Blues’

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  David Wells
May 18, 2015 2:11 pm

“Amber Rudd(erless)…has said that…their (sic) is not a cigarette paper between her and the Labour party.”
Perhaps, now that she’s in office, she’ll zig zag?

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
May 18, 2015 2:16 pm

Funny. But unlikely. Until the lights go out and voters freeze in the dark.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  sturgishooper
May 18, 2015 3:46 pm

That day may not be long in coming, if we are to rely on windmills.

Reply to  David Wells
May 18, 2015 2:31 pm

David Wells might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

mike hamblet
May 18, 2015 9:24 am

It is true in Britain, as in the rest of the world, that people with wealth ans priviledge feel they don’t need to abide by the laws and rules of a civilised society.

Reply to  mike hamblet
May 18, 2015 9:33 am

Mr Hamblett is wrong. I comply with the law. I am not obliged to hold a television licence because I do not watch live television. Nor am I obliged to believe that a bad law that needlessly criminalizes a million people every six years is a good law.
However, it is customary also to abide by the rules of spelling: “Privilege” is not spelt “Priviledge”.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:34 am

And no doubt Mr Hamblet will tell me that “Hamblett” is spelt “Hamblet”. Or should that be “Hamlet”? Close, but no cigar.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:13 am

Refer again to that great American scholar, Andrew Jackson: It’s a *** poor mind can think of but one way to spell a word.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 2:14 pm

A privy ledge is where Americans store their loo paper.

Reply to  mike hamblet
May 18, 2015 10:34 am

Monckton of Brenchley says:
Mr Hamblett is wrong.
Of course.

Reply to  mike hamblet
May 18, 2015 2:16 pm

I’m poor and live in a flat and I don’t pay the tv tax either. This is because, like Monckton, I don’t watch the damn thing.

Vince Causey
May 18, 2015 9:27 am
David Wells
May 18, 2015 9:29 am

The Times and the Sunday Times filtered me out of their letters to the editor option in the same way that Roger Harrabin did when I took him to task. All hell will freeze over before these people give up their highly paid globetrotting jobs in the same way that Tamsin Edwards and Michael Hanlon will continue to persuade us to believe that GCM’s are fantastic and so sophisticated that they really can predict our future when anyone not absorbed with their own beliefs know they cannot.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  David Wells
May 18, 2015 9:51 am

They should have known that when they said ‘the science is settled’ that people would start saying ‘but what about … ?’

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  David Wells
May 18, 2015 10:46 am

David, I’m glad it’s not just me sending letters to Roger Harrabin.

auralay
May 18, 2015 9:29 am

I think the problem is that the BBC is mono-cultural and need to become multi-cultural. ( In the sense of the way they think rather than ethnic background.) Perhaps they should be made more representative by recruiting from all the national newspapers in the same ratios as their circulation figures. A flood of Sun and Mail reading executives would soon put the Guardianistas in their place.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  auralay
May 18, 2015 9:52 am

You mean that there are still people out there who read those dead trees called newspapers ?

auralay
Reply to  Richard Mallett
May 18, 2015 1:37 pm

Oh yes! In any school it is quite a struggle to get hold of the staffroom copy of the Guardian. Mostly for the jobs section but also for the many technophobic teachers to learn what opinions they should hold each day. I imagine the Beeb would be similar but they can all expect a personal copy.

Bob Weber
May 18, 2015 9:30 am

Simultaneously sad and funny Christopher. It’s all too bizarre.
If CO2 is regulated the way warmers want it to be, there will be the American equivalent of snoop vans lurking about measuring all manner of “emissions”, handing out fines and sending some people to jail for trying to stay warm in the winter, or cool in the summer. People exceeding their pre-ordained limit will of course be made an example of, with no sympathy from the green press or government.
As energy use is central to civilization, the civilized world will devolve to feudalism under warmist dictates.
Naturally there will be politically convenient exemptions, just like in the ACA, for greens like Gore et al.
All manner of graft and corruption will follow energy rationing under erstwhile warmist future CO2 regs.

michael hart
May 18, 2015 9:32 am

The BBC aren’t the first institution, and won’t be the last, to make the mistake of believing their own marketing/advertising as they move further and further away from reality.

Alan Robertson
May 18, 2015 9:39 am

Loch Rannoch, you say? The very air of that Highland environ does shape a fellow.
Many shall rise with you, seeing that you’ve unsheathed your figurative Claymore.
Garg ‘nuair dhùisgear

Reply to  Alan Robertson
May 18, 2015 9:44 am

agus Alba gu brath!.

Amatør1
May 18, 2015 9:41 am

Unfortunately, this story is not unique to the UK and BBC. In Norway, it is enough to own a TV, whether you use it or not.
We have also detectors

Reply to  Amatør1
May 18, 2015 10:38 am

Amatør1,
Funny!

Martin_T
Reply to  Amatør1
May 19, 2015 1:57 am

@Amatör: Same here in Germany. One TV news anchor once called it a “democracy fee” – so the ARD/ZDF are no better than the BBC, obviously.
And all political parties in the Bundestag are pulling on the same rope. They’re all Melons: Green on the outside, red on the inside, with brown seeds.
You have the support of many Krauts over here, Mylord. Keep it up.

richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 9:42 am

Monckton of Brenchley
You say

The Secretary of State, on receiving our letter before action in judicial review, will require the trust to respond.

Hmmm. There is a problem there.
As you know, I have tabled a complaint with the BBC about its Breach of the BBC Charter by broadcasting the execrable programme titled ‘Climate Change by Numbers’. My complaint is copied to WUWT for public record and can be read here.
The BBC has not replied to my complaint so I have repeatedly called on the BBC Trust to take action. This has placed me in a ‘Catch 22’.
The BBC Trust considers appeals against BBC Responses to be complaints. But there cannot be an appeal unless the BBC provides a Response.

I see nothing in the BBC Charter which requires the BBC or the BBC Trust to respond to a complaint by the Secretary of State. Of course, the Secretary of State can threaten (e.g. to get Parliament to withdraw the BBC License Fee) but it remains to be seen if (s)he would.
Richard

Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 9:48 am

Your remedy, Richard, is an action for breach of contract in the Small Claims Court. Ask for less than £2,000 and the court fee is only £70. I’ll help you draft the pleadings, which will request an order of the court that the BBC should reply to the Trust, whose function is otherwise vitiated, which cannot be what Parliament intended. Auntie hasn’t replied to me either, about that remarkably crass programme. I wrote to all three of the soi-disant “mathematicians”. Two replied saying they’d relied on BBC science advisors to tell them the science. I put in a Freedom of Information request to ask the BBC who its science advisors were, and was told the BBC refused to reply on the ground that my enquiry concerned journalism, which is exempt under the legislation.
They are wriggling like stuck pigs.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:56 am

Monckton of Brenchley
Thankyou for that.
I will contact you by personal email with regard to your kind offer.
For now, I ask what contract I have with the BBC that has been breached?
Please note that I am asking this in an open forum for reasons of publicity intended to help any others who may also want to take action.
Also, I don’t want my original point to be lost; viz. any appropriate action to be taken by the Secretary of State is not clear.
Richard

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 10:40 am

Dear Richard, – You pay a licence fee and are entitled, in return, to expect that the recipient of that fee will act in accordance with its Charter and with its agreement with the Secretary of State. One can do three things if the BBC fails to behave: sue it for breach of contract, sue it for negligence, or complain (1) to the BBC; (2) to the Trust and (3), if they don’t answer, to the Secretary of State, in writing, providing a detailed report of systemic bias over many years, informing him that the BBC and the Trust have failed to respond properly (or at all) to legitimate complaints, and warning him that unless within 14 days he has contacted you to make it clear that he is taking decisive action to have your complaints of prejudice on the BBC’s part properly investigated, you will ask the Administrative Court for judicial review of his administrative action in failing to exercise his statutory duty upon evidence of clear breach by the BBC of its agreement with him. The last course seems the best. There are already supporters gathering around the need for court action to bring the BBC back within the scope of its agreement with the Secretary of State as to impartiality. It has only got away with prejudice to date because all political parties but UKIP have gone goofy about the climate and because no one has taken the Secretary of State to court.
This would be a bigger case than the Al Gore case. It would need proper funding. I am working on that.

Mick
May 18, 2015 9:42 am

Many years ago, I was banned the first time I highlighted climate bias reporting on a BBC tv report…..Back in the 70’s a friend of mine who decided to exist without a tv was constantly bombarded by letters from them with ‘we note that you don’t have a tv license’. He kept on sending back a reply that he didn’t have a fish license, either. Eventually they decided to call on him and he told them ‘go away’ and if they believed that he had a tv, to prove it. Nothing happened after that. Total reorganisation asap.

The Original Mike M
May 18, 2015 9:42 am

“The life of a TV detector man is always intense.” http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/AOhvjSxPfeY/0.jpg

Greg Woods
Reply to  The Original Mike M
May 18, 2015 12:09 pm

Sounds like a good sit com…

Steinar Midtskogen
May 18, 2015 9:47 am

Also in Norway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaVMO4t_D8c
(Produced by the Norwegian broadcasting corporation, so at least they have some sense of humour)

Dermot O'Logical
May 18, 2015 9:56 am

I think the real outrange is that those parking bays are for permit holders only. As if parking in Edinburgh isn’t hard enough….

Reply to  Dermot O'Logical
May 18, 2015 10:44 am

What They did was to put out “Road Works” signs the day before. But no road works were actually done. All that happened is that, just before what the BBC fondly thinks is prime viewing time, the two goonmobiles arrived and parked in front of the vicecomital Residence. Fortunately, the lofty State Apartments are on the piano nobile, so our view to our three-acre garden opposite, with its mature trees in fresh summer leaf, was not obstructed. But, as you say, parking in Edinburgh is a nghtmare, and George Street, just behind the Residence, is said to be the most profitable in the world for parking operators.
The road-works sign disappeared not long after the goonmobiles had gone.

Sam The First
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 5:41 pm

All of which must have cost, in admin and staff time, and petrol etc, a lot more than your licence fee.

John Doe
May 18, 2015 9:56 am

I haven’t paid for a tv license in over 30 years. Never bought a new tv but when i bought a freeview digibox i was forced to give my details – paid in cash and gave false details. Was always under the impression the vans were bogus and that it was simply a database of tv owners that were not paying license that caused their ‘enforcers’ to turn up at the door. A couple of times when moving into rented accommodation i was inundated with license letters which i would ignore until a final demand came. Then i would simply call them and say i didn’t have a tv and would they please stop wasting resources and distressing me with their demands. Maybe i’ve been lucky but i do know of friends that were caught – they lived on ground floor, were under the impression they had to let the inspectors in, and the tv was visible from the street, especially so when on at night. My backup plan if they somehow gained access was to simply smash the tv, far cheaper to buy a new one than deal with the fine. Luckily i’ve never needed to put that plan into action.
But man are the BBC biased, i often find myself having to look elsewhere to get a more balanced opinion on whatever drivel it is they are pushing at the time.
*Anon for good reason 😉

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  John Doe
May 18, 2015 11:50 am

John, I stopped listening to BBC news some time ago, as the bias is ludicrously obvious. I go to Google News, and The Spectator for its articles. I don’t have a licence as I don’t watch TV, but the only BBC programme I have seen on catch-up is Sunday Politics, which is really good. Andrew Neil is superb, and does his research – an old-fashioned journalist.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05tb7gl/sunday-politics-london-17052015
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Andrew+Neil

Jim Francisco
Reply to  John Doe
May 18, 2015 11:58 am

You reminded me of the joy we had trying to get out of running the annual 1.5 mile requirement of the USAF.

MikeB
Reply to  John Doe
May 18, 2015 12:08 pm

John, if you live in the UK the word is Licence, there is no such thing as a license fee.

Björn from Sweden
May 18, 2015 10:03 am

In Sweden every home that owns a TV must pay the equivalent of 160£, or +200 EURO to state run media.
The state run media company, SR/SVT, radio and TV, will receive the license fees as long as they put out politically correct propaganda to the viewers. It is very bad for democracy, and I guess that is what the state is going for and why state run media was created in the first place.
Also, of course, in the rare instances you as a citizen is allowed to comment on state run websites, you are heavily censored. Speak to the point and truthfully and your comment is very soon removed.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Björn from Sweden
May 18, 2015 10:56 am

Björn, here in Britain, we seem to be hearing a lot about how bad things are getting in Sweden. Is it true? We hear about racial tensions, more than anything, but there was this a while back that did the rounds:
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2014/April/Soviet-Sweden-Model-Nation-Sliding-to-Third-World/
And I also read a very interesting, and very similar, article only last week about Norway. You have a lovely country, and all those blond girls. There was a TV programme here about 10 years go that posed the question: ‘Should we be more like Sweden, than like the US?’ Sad, if it really is going all wrong. Did I mention you have lots of blond girls?

Björn from Sweden
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 11:26 am

I dont know about the racial tensions, I have not seen any. But our economy is heavily burdened by our commitment to grant citizenship to every syrian that comes to sweden, besides all other refugees who come here for our welfare. It is now around 100 000 per year. 1/5 citizens of sweden roughly are immigrants, we have a population of 9-10 million people. Half a million or so, nobody knows, are unemployed. We dont have room for more and we already have trhe highest taxes in the world but left and right have formed a coalition to ensure that sweden will keep on having the largest immigration per capita in the west world. The people obviously dont like that, but the left and right of politicians have decided that it must continue in absurdum. So naturally a new party has formed that is proposed to the reckless immigration policy and of course state run media is viciously attacking the, They even have a team of hackers that search social media for politically incorrect comments and reveal name, adress behind those who post and triumfantly post storys about people who lost their jobs after media exposed them with making politically incorrect postings on social websites. Im really sorry if I dont always make perfect sense since english is a foreign language to me.
Do not be like Sweden is my advise, work to get rid of state run and state sponsored media who control opinions of weak minded voting stock. Dont vote in elections, or if you vote, vote for an outsider not the established power elite.
Our welfare system is collapsing right now.

Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 12:00 pm

Björn from Sweden,
I am very sorry to hear about that. Good luck to your new anti-immigration party. Why should your country make room for all the Syrians who feel like invading for the welfare benefits?
I sometimes get flack for saying publicly that I don’t like the flood of illegal aliens coming into our country. But if we don’t speak up, it will continue to get worse. Sometimes you have no choice but to tell the government and the media that they are doing wrong.
Does your government have any legitimate reasons for why Sweden should provide for all foreigners who decide to enter illegally? The U.S. government certainly has no legitimate reasons for tolerating and encouraging illegal immigration. It is illegal. But they encourage it anyway.
(Your English is excellent. Far better than my Swedish.)

richard verney
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
May 18, 2015 2:17 pm

I have lived in both Norway and Sweden.
The problem in these country is that whilst they are large land areas, the population is small. Norway has about half the population of Sweden.
It does not take many years of immigration to noticeably tip the balance especially as immigrant families are often twice the size of the typical Norwegian/Swedish family.
When I was living in Oslo (the capital city of Norway) it had a pouplation of about 480,000 to 500,000. The fifth largest City (Drammen) had a population of only about 80 to 85,000 people! Immigrants tend not to mix and tend to live in the capital or major cities and it only takes a few years of quite modest immigration before large parts of the capital (or major cities) are unrecognisable.
My understanding is that the racial tensions in Sweden are in the South West Malmo/Goteborg area. There have been a number of documentaries on it but is now more than 20 years since I lived in Sweden so I have no first hand knowledge.

Larry in Texas
Reply to  Björn from Sweden
May 18, 2015 10:13 pm

Bjorn, you have my sympathies. The Left in America is always trying to impose the same conformity of thought that you are experiencing in Sweden. So I know where you are coming from. Just keep speaking the truth, to power and to everyone else. I know that the Swedish immigration levels are unsustainable in the long term, especially when such a large portion of them are unemployed and unwilling to assimilate, and if Sweden’s birth rate is dropping like most other European countries.

Björn from sweden
Reply to  Larry in Texas
May 19, 2015 3:16 am

Thanks for the sympathy Larry in the lone star state and everyone else who share my concern for Sweden. Finland and Norway have taken a much stricter stance on immigration than Sweden, but they also have problems. Many areas of Sweden are now lawless, police even dont like to go there since they are attacked if they do. People have died because ambulances refuse to enter these areas without protection from police. Media and politicians say everything is fine and that we need more immigration to supply workforce to employers. Sweden have half a million unemployed at least, many others are enrolled in gov programs for unemployed and are not counted as unemployed, I hope you understand what I mean. The averege time for a new immigrant citizen to get an employment in Sweden is around seven years, many never get a job and it is getting harder all the time. There is no strong incentive to get a job in sweden because benefits are generous. Our welfare system iwas calibrated for a small group of people in financial troubles fort short periods. The intention of welfare was to support individuals a few months until they get an income, but noe that system must pay out to hundreds of thousands of people for many years. And the lack of housing means that the immigration departement of government are forced to pay ridiculous sums of money, like 5000$ montghly rent for a small apartement to house one immigrant family, taxpayer money in the pockets of house owners who speculate in our problems.
Swedish BBC, SR/SVT will not adress these problems and call for Sweden to invite more immigration, charter planes to pick up immigrants and fly here, it is insane. And we the people must pay them to opress us. Of course they go on and on about accelerating global warming and all the problems we now see because of climate change.

May 18, 2015 10:14 am

This is like yelling to someone, “Don’t listen to me or else!”

James Bull
May 18, 2015 10:15 am

My sister has had many missives from the Beeb threatening her with all sorts of terrible things unless she pays up, the only fly in it is that she hasn’t had a TV for years and has no intention of getting one. This seems inconceivable to them as everyone must have a telescreen.
James Bull

Reply to  James Bull
May 18, 2015 10:48 am

Well, at least Big Brother can’t watch us on the Telescreen yet, though no doubt the totalitarians are working on that.
Most of the BBC’s letters are actually illegal, in that it is not made plain that they come from the BBC. There are a number of other irregularities. Unfortunately, nearly all the goons’ victims know no law, so the BBC has gotten away with frankly criminal conduct for years. But the worm is turning. There is now real political pressure building to take away the licence fee altogether. It will be a long and hard-fought campaign, the people against almost the entire Establishment, with UKIP leading the charge, as usual these days. I don’t know where we’d be without it.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:02 am

Indeed, I don’t know where Britain would be without Ukip. But it needs to seriously get its act together. It needs a massive, and I mean massive, promotional campaign. It needs to spend money on simply forever pushing its beliefs and ideas. I challenge people to pick a hole in its policies; they cannot. No one, ever in politics, speaks as clearly as Farage does. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with him personally, or even the general gist of the Party, no one in British politics is as honest. He’s a rare treat – the same reason I love Katie Hopkins.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:02 pm

Ghost,
I worry about Nigel Farage. He is so effective that he could become a target of extremists.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:15 pm

I had never thought about that, you could well be right. I have met people who are rabidly against him. But I don’t understand this response. I think he’s the best thing to happen to British politics in my lifetime. I used to like Dennis Skinner, but then I grew up. I think the current situation in Ukip is worrying. Britain needs Ukip, if only because support for them acts as a safety valve. But we need them to steer the debate until 2017 (or maybe sooner, if today’s reports are to be believed).

richard verney
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 2:22 pm

UKIP are in self destruct mode, and whilst there is a place for such a party (with commonsense populist policies) it could easily become irrelevant following the Euro referendum.
UKIP needs to think carefully about is future, and where it should position itself for the days ahead follwing the referendum, because unless it does this quickly, I can see its demise.

Editor
May 18, 2015 10:36 am

Before the law was changed to deal with cell phones (analog, unencoded), the FCC Act of 1934 allows people to overheard radio conversations as longer as people don’t profit from that or divulge the contents.
Pretty sensible, actually. Don’t outlaw something you can’t enforce.
It seems to me that if someone transmits a radio signal that trespasses on my property I should have the right to examine that signal in any way I desire. If people don’t want me listening in, then they should take measures not to transmit into my property.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Ric Werme
May 18, 2015 10:57 am

Time was when you could listen to the TV sound on VHF radio.

Jeroen Vermeulen
May 18, 2015 10:37 am

Is the United Kingdom not a signatory to the Treaty of Rome? It is my layman’s understanding that this treaty guarantees freedom of speech – which necessarily includes not only the right to speak, but also the right to listen. If you wanted to buy a television in order to watch, say, French and German documentaries or domestic private broadcasts, it would (again in my understanding) be a violation of your human rights as enshrined in this treaty to fine you for partaking in freedom of speech on the grounds that the device would also enable you to receive BBC broadcasts. (Though as you say, sadly without Top Gear). Imagine what would happen to democracy if the governing party could charge you for the right to read the newspaper.
IANAL, however. Just bringing up something I heard once.

Reply to  Jeroen Vermeulen
May 18, 2015 11:02 am

The Treaty of Rome does not guarantee free speech or any other of the usually-understood freedoms of the individual. One is free to move throughout the member states without let or hindrance, to live in any of them and to work in any of them, but that’s it. The Treaty of Rome represents a massive encroachment on the freedom of the individual. If. for instance, an EU employee criticizes the way the EU is run, he or she can be dismissed without compensation and have his or her pension rights taken away. There have also been attempts, resisted only (but successfully) by UKIP, to prevent anyone from speaking ill of the EU.
It is not about freedom.
When, against the advice of the then President Klaus, the Czech Republic made the monumental mistake of stepping into the EU fire having only stepped out of the Soviet frying-pan, within days of accession a goon squad from the EU turned up at the Hradcany Palace in Prague (the largest palace in the world: it makes Buck House look minuscule), demanded to see President Klaus, and told him that from now on he and the Czech Republic were to obey without question or challenge the orders of the Kommissars (the official German name for the unelected junta that wields absolute power in Europe and has the sole right to propose Europe-wide legislation, which the elected European Parliament does not possess).
President Klaus showed them the door, told them to clear out of the Czech Republic and stay out for as long as he was President, and said he had not been spoken to with such overweening arrogance since the Soviet days. They retreated, sniveling, with their tails between their legs.
I heard a similar story from the Cypriot chief negotiator, whom I had warned not to pursue EU membership and, above all, nver to join the collapsing Euro. I explained that my reasons for giving this advice were not political: I gave the advice because I loved Cyprus and did not want to see it harmed. Cyprus steamed ahead anyway. Within days of accession, EU goons were all over the government departments in Nicosia, issuing curt, peremptory orders to all and sundry. Cyprus, which had had in the Cyprus Pound the most solid currency in Europe, less prone to inflation even than the Deutsche Mark, and in the Central Bank one of the best central banks in the Eastern Mediterranean, threw away all of that for a mess of EU pottage, and promptly went bankrupt, exactly as I had told the chief negotiator it would.
The chief negotiator came to see me the other day, and said her most earnest wish was that she had listened when I had given her what she described as the clearest warnings she had ever been given about anything. She was less worried about her government’s raid on the bank accounts of its people – the sort of daylight robbery one has to get used to in the unaccountable and largely criminal EU – than about the loss of Cyprus’ sovereignty. I had warned her that to cede Cypriot sovereignty to the EU would prove to be a serious mistake, particularly as Cyprus had not been its own master for very long. But Cyprus threw away her precious independence, and has paid a very heavy financial price as well.
The EU, like the BBC, must go. It is a hated, corrupt, profiteering, superfluous dictatorship. Europe will come to nothing until it is gone,.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:20 am

However, if England (hence Britain overall) votes to leave the EU, Scotland might well vote to leave the UK. I doubt that you’ll want to live in a country liable to adopt the Euro.
I wish UKIP luck in freeing Britain from the Kommissars, but with a communist SNP, the consequences might not be droll for the future of the UK.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:42 am

Scotland has already had its vote on whether to leave the UK, and has decided not to.
If the UK were to leave the EU and Scotland were to wish to join, there would have to be another referendum, which would be lost again. If it were won, and the UK had left the EU, Scotland would have to apply to rejoin the EU. However, in the light of the numerous national bankruptcies arising from the mad policy of introducing the Euro to countries that had not converged sufficiently with their neighbors, the EU is now once again obliged to impose upon new applicants the eight economic convergence criteria listed in the Treaty of Maastricht. Two of those criteria, and arguably the most important, are the maximum-deficit criterion (3% of annual GDP) and the accumulated-national-debt criterion (60% of annual GDP). On both counts, a separated Scotland would not have qualified even when oil was twice its present price. So Scotland would be most unwise to vote to leave the UK unless and until its economy was strong enough to permit it to join the EU.
According to the analysis of the Scottish Research Society before the referendum, recently updated in the light of events including the oil price, Scotland could well find herself bankrupt within months of leaving the UK. She would, no doubt, try to stave off the evil day by borrowing, but lending to a bankrupt Scotland rather than to the known quantity that is the UK would command a substantial and unaffordable premium.
Not a word of this, of course, has appeared in the Marxstream media.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:53 am

Thanks for the valuable info. However, it’s not at all clear that a second referendum would fail, even with present low oil prices. The first was 55-45% against, as you know, but SNP got 50% in the general election (possibly lower turnout; I don’t know). So IMO it’s not at all a foregone conclusion that five percent of referendum voters will not change their minds, or that turnout would be the same. It’s also my impression that older voters wanted to stay in the Union disproportionately, but that’s not based on actual data.
And Brent crude has already rebounded quite a bit. Who can say what the future may hold?

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:18 pm

sturgishooper says:
However, if England (hence Britain overall) votes to leave the EU…
I seriously doubt that would ever be allowed to happen, no matter what British citizens wanted.
The Irish were given the opportunity to vote Yes or No on joining the EU, which wanted to absorb Ireland into the Borg. The Irish wisely voted No.
That was not acceptable. Pressure was ratcheted up, money was put into the right pockets, the media was given its marching orders, and the No vote was summarily thrown out for no good reason — or for any real reason at all.
A second vote was scheduled, and due to the above tactics, the proper and correct Yes vote was obtained. Now Ireland is screwed. Forever.
Does anyone really believe that a much bigger and more valuable territory like England would be allowed to withdraw from the EU? They are not dealing with a law-abiding regional government. Rather, the EU is essentially a criminal organization, administered by a legion of nameless, faceless bureaucrats who can create laws by decree, and who are not accountable to English voters.
In the U.S. we have a similar anonymous bureaucracy: the EPA. A recent Supreme Court case was won by a homeowner whose land had a seasonal puddle a few inches deep. Based on that, a junior EPA bureaucrat arbitrarily labeled it a “wetland”, rendering any other use illegal. Arguing with the EPA was futile. Eventually, that homeowner won after a hugely expensive legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court. But it was not a precedent setting case, so the same confiscation of property rights by nameless, faceless, unaccountable EPA bureaucrats continues. In fact, it is increasing.
England has as much chance of leaving the EU as a homeowner in the U.S. has of overturning an EPA decision through petition and negotiation. The EU/UN will never allow England to secede. World government is the goal, and they are getting mighty close.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

DB,
England is not Ireland. I don’t know how Britain will vote on EU membership, but IMO the Tories have cause to fear UKIP, despite its failure this year, in light of what the SNP has done to Labour. If the UK overall votes to leave the EU, based upon a substantial majority in England, the Cameron government will IMO have to comply. Lacking an army, there’s little the EU could do to compel England to bow down before its Kommissars. The British military is shrinking but still among the best in Europe.
Denmark, although technically a member of the EU, has a good record of resisting absorption by the Borg. It voted against adopting the Euro, for instance. It’s still on the krone, as the UK is the pound.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 2:02 pm

SH,
I sincerely hope you’re right. I tend to be a pessimist in these things. Here’s why:
After the fall of the Berlin Wall a lot of classified information got out (Venona files, etc.) Beginning in the early 1930’s the old Soviets began to plan for what they viewed as the inevitable march of history, in which collectivism would be the end result.
After WWII they tried to expand communism to include western Europe (Italy, Greece, etc.). They were unsuccessful at the time. Internal debates concluded that there were better ways to play the end game. That became much more apparent when the Wall came down. They realized that defeating the U.S. and the West militarily would be a very uphill battle. Europeeans were not the least bit interested in having Russian overlords.
So the tactics (which had always been discussed, according to defectors like Yuri Bezmenov, AKA Thomas Schuman) began to lean heavily toward gaining control of the ‘organs’ of public opinion — what we call the mass, or mainstream media. This was made clear by the fact that the Rockefellers had commissioned a study a few decades before, in which it was determined that the control of the country’s 25 largest newspapers (this was the pre-TV era) would allow them to completely influence public policy. It was not foolproof, of course, but it gave a huge advantage to the owners of the media at the time. (Today, just six entities control more than 90% of all TV stations and newspapers in the U.S.)
The Soviets made the decision to keep up their military saber-rattling, but secretly to work toward putting key people in the U.S. and Western media. They have been hugely successful.
Since then — and I admit this is more my own analysis than it is based on leaked documents — that effort to control the policy makers has naturally extended to universities, journals, corporations, and anywhere else they can move opinion. We see how successful they have been when we read endless comments pointing at ‘authorities’ in the climate field, for example. Amazingly, those authorities all have exactly the same message, in lock-step.
In a society with a free exchange of ideas, it strains belief to think that every professional organization ends up promoting the exact same ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ narrative. Even organizations that have little relation to the man-made global warming narrative. Prof. Richard Lindzen explains in Section 2 here how just one or two activists can change the direction of a large organization. Lindzen names names, and no one has refuted his exposé.
So call me a conspiracy theorist if you like. But as Adam Smith wrote:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
That applies to governments, too. The old KGB never went away, it just changed to the FSB. But the players are the same, and there are no equals to the Soviet Russians when it comes to understanding and manipulating human behavior. They are in a class by themselves, and when I look at the identical global warming narrative emanating from such diverse groups all across the spectrum of society, it seems obvious to me that the message is being orchestrated. Add to that Lenin’s comment that “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” and we see that happening: literally $billions are being funneled into “climate studies” — money which is nothing short of a bribe to promote the message.
So even though the UN lacks an army, they have been mostly getting their way. I sincerely hope you’re right about the UK being able to secede from the EU, which would certainly be in the interest of her citizens. I thought the Irish question was settled when they voted against membership. But we see what happened there.
One thing I am not, is a credulous or naive person. I never believe what a politician says. I watch their actions. They can gain my trust, but it takes plenty of time and credibility. When I see how the media leads the average person by the nose, and causes the average mouth-breather to nod their heads in agreement that runaway global warming is causing climate catastrophe (despite zero evidence), along with the fact that education has been so dumbed down, it makes me nervous. How about you?

Richard Mallett
Reply to  dbstealey
May 18, 2015 3:39 pm

I lost faith in the Tories when Cameron said ‘we’re paying down the debt’ when it doubled from £750 billion to £1500 billion from 2010 to 2015.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 2:11 pm

DB,
I’m basically pessimistic about the future as well, however the new media may at least slow the process. Unfortunately, the Internet is subject to regime control, too.
But in the single instance of Britain v. the EU, I feel the UK would and could opt out if its citizens (or subjects) decisively voted to do so. England would then be back in the position it was before James I, with a potential enemy with continental alliances, on its northern border, and with respect to Ireland, vulnerable as it was during WWII.
Perhaps some kind of loose, trans-Atlantic (and Pacific), English-speaking union would be in order then. The EU in that case might feel even more vulnerable to Russian pressure, however.

Fanakapan
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 9:39 pm

Just remind us again, what percentage of the Cypriot economy was devoted to banking ?
Whilst your description of Cyprus is touching, it really owes little to reality. They, like their cousins with whom they fostered the ardent wish for Enosis, got involved with ‘Funny Money’ and borrowed like there was no tomorrow. That is how they ended up in the Klart.
Strange how the Gaulieters of the EU were powerless in the face of obvious financial malfeasance ?

richard verney
Reply to  Jeroen Vermeulen
May 18, 2015 2:29 pm

It is unclear whether a TV licence is required to watch live foreign broadcast material, ie., TV channels that are broadcats from outside the UK even if received/watched within the UK.
Whilst a TV licence is required to watch (or record) any live broadcast material, it may be that is restricted to UK broadcasted material.
If anyone is only watching foreign TV then it would be worthwhile double checking that point. But one has to be very careful since I suspect that many foreign language channels may be uploaded to the satellite link from within the UK.

Fanakapan
Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2015 9:43 pm

the law is Clear, you need a licence to watch ‘Live’ broadcasts, regardless of where they eminate 🙂

May 18, 2015 10:51 am

Oh well – I come here for notifications of changes in climate science, and yet continually get distracted by things I really should not have time for! I don’t have a TV – since long ago when bringing up kids and I regarded it as a form of child-abuse (to which I was subjected by my beloved parents who no doubt as many today, relied on it to distract us kids whenever we were in the house – which was only after dark).
That said, I do love the BBC. I love the quality of its productions and the complete absence of advertising. I only see it when visiting friends or going down the pub to watch the rugby internationals. But then, I am a leftie-liberal greenie kind of person who hates the consumerist crap of commercial TV, as much as I hate the constant right-wing neo-liberal posturing of climate sceptics! The reason so few people in what you think is a socialist-commie-Guardian-BBC-greenie-blue plot (one has to include David Cameron in that bag) have so little time for the sceptical argument is precisely because it has been made so political. You guys have undermined the cause.
That said, Roger Harrabin rang me some time after my book ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ was published, and shortly before he was to interview John Christy on the BBC. He asked what sort of questions he should ask. He had read my book and said he was impressed by the analysis. I told him to ask Prof Christy one critical question – ‘What proportion of the warming that had been observed did he regard as natural?’ I did not know what Christy’s estimate would be – my own had been 80% or more. Christy replied ‘75%’. That was recorded on the BBC and broadcast in the years before the current clamp-down.
Sadly, all this right-wing posturing contributes to the clamp-down. The opposition truly believes that we are heading for warmaggedon – and who can blame them when NASA, the UN, all science academies worldwide, and their own dear MetOffice and all the environmental NGOs tell them so. They should then give a renegade meteorologist’s blog more credence? Get real.
Don’t get me wrong – I have great respect for Anthony and the work this blog has done even though no one reviewed my book – perhaps because it was aimed at the ‘greens’ and argued for resources (and taxes) to be spent on adaptation to inevitable change. And I have great respect for Lord Monckton from a scientific perspective, ever since that article in the journal of the American Physical Society introduced me to his work.
I know it is no use pleading for a return to science as the focus of this blog – but for me, the site is going down-hill with all this political bluster and lack of respect. People have been hoodwinked – including the BBC and the Guardian, David Cameron and the Pope. We need to better understand that process because it is truly insidious, if we are to combat it effectively.

Reply to  Peter Taylor
May 18, 2015 11:09 am

Peter Taylor is right to ask that this blog should concentrate on science and, to be fair, it does – almost to the exclusion of anything else. However, it would be foolish not to recognize that the totalitarian Left are in the driving seat as far as the climate nonsense is concerned; that the BBC and the Guardian have not been hoodwinked but are deliberately peddling misrepresentations that they can be proven to know are false; and that unless the problems of the international environmentalist Left and its increasing authoritarianism and hate speech are firmly dealt with the cost to Western civilization, and not merely to the reputation but also to the functioning of science herself, will be incalculable.

Reply to  Peter Taylor
May 18, 2015 11:16 am

Sorry, but the only way to combat it effectively is to elect the most conservative possible US president, willing to call BS on the UN and defund the sc*m in academia and government. Here it is a left-right issue, with, as with Tories in the UK, even many Republicans who have drunk the Warm-Aid. There are essentially no “progressive” skeptics in any relevant position of power or the mainstream media in this country. There is no scientific basis for CACCA, only political, so ending its anti-human run will require a political solution.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Peter Taylor
May 18, 2015 11:51 am

Peter Taylor
Yes, you are right and you say it well. I have been saying the same on WUWT for years and have been vilified for it but – as I said – you are right and you say it well.
I commend the replies to you of both Monckton of Brenchley and sturgishooper because (strangely) I think they are each right, too.
Totalitarians come in all political colours, and the Khmer Rouge demonstrated the horrors of ‘green’ totalitarianism. Sadly for old ‘lefties’ like me, as Monckton of Brenchley implies, at present that political model is the greatest threat from the environmentalist scares.
Opposing that threat requires a powerful Western political lead, and the US could provide this. However, the US has the unique situation of dividing on left vs right terms with regard to the global warming scare. So, as sturgishooper suggests, overt reversal of support for the global warming scare is needed from the US political right.
This provides a problem for opponents of the ‘green’ agenda.
Outside of the US, supporters of the ‘green’ agenda and opponents of the ‘green’ agenda both come from across the entire political spectrum. It is difficult for those on the left to support the US political Right, and many of the US political Right fail to understand the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
In summation, we need an alliance of all people of good will who will oppose the ‘green’ agendas, but forging and maintaining that alliance will not be easy.
Richard

Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 12:22 pm

Even among the most conservative candidates, it’s hard to pin most of them down on their position on man-made “climate change”. I suspect that Dr. Paul knows it’s bogus, but as with so many other of his positions, he’s now backpedaling in hopes of getting elected. Voting record, as for the pipeline, may not indicate candidate’s actual convictions. In any case, the rot has spread far among the government class of all stripes.
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/242272-six-dangerous-issues-in-the-2016-gop-race
CLIMATE CHANGE
While none of the Republican contenders are vowing to tackle climate change if elected president, they are split on whether human activity is driving it.
Most Republican voters say it would be unacceptable for their candidate to believe in man-made climate change, let alone pursue policies to address it.
Some of the candidates, including Paul and Bush, have adopted an agnostic view, saying the jury is still out on how much the climate is changing, and if so, what role humans play in it.
Others, such as Cruz and Santorum, have depicted climate change as a hoax by the left to impose new environmental restrictions on the business community.
When the Senate considered legislation on the Keystone XL pipeline, Cruz, Rubio and Paul all voted for an amendment stating that climate change was real.
Paul was the only 2016 contender to support a separate amendment that stated human beings contribute to climate change.

richardscourtney
Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 12:26 pm

sturgishooper
Thankyou. That is useful information.
Richard

Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 12:44 pm

You are most welcome. Thanks for all your family contributes here. And over there.
It’s hard to divine the real feelings of people running for office, but based upon the impressions of members of Congress of my acquaintance, some of the front runners are genuine skeptics. Of course, as politicians, they might be lying to me, too.
With eight months to go before the Iowa caucuses, there is no clear-cut front-runner, although Bush more often than not leads by a little in the polls. All possible candidates haven’t even announced yet. It’s pretty much wide open, but probably will boil down to which more conservative candidate will challenge Bush. Given his money, he can stay in the race even without winning in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina. If he doesn’t finish first or second in Florida, however, he’s probably toast.
His main moderate challenger is Gov. Christie of New Jersey, who stands little chance.
This could change a lot, but right now the leading more or less conservative contenders to challenge him are Gov. Walker, Sen. Rubio, Sen. Paul, ex-Gov. Huckabee, Sen. Cruz and Dr. Carson:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html
Mrs. Fiorina, like Carson, has never held elective office.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  sturgishooper
May 18, 2015 2:40 pm

So will the Republicans spend so much time / money / energy fighting each other, that they have nothing left to fight Hillary ?

Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 12:51 pm

PS: Sen. Graham is also a “moderate”, but can affect the race only by possibly being a spoiler in his home state of South Carolina, which holds the second primary and third nominating event, after Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, and which Bush is counting on winning, being from nearby Florida.

Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 2:00 pm

Past statements by various GOP candidates, some quite good if not indeed right on:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/05/12/where-the-2016-gop-contenders-stand-on-climate-change/

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  richardscourtney
May 18, 2015 2:43 pm

Sturgis: The candidate summary is (1) from the Wa Poo, a poor source, (2) a year old. We need newer, better information.

Greg Woods
Reply to  Peter Taylor
May 18, 2015 12:30 pm

I beg to disagree. Science will win out sooner or later, but the real battle is ideological. It doesn’t matter if the ‘pause’ lasts for a hundred years. As Figueres made perfectly clear, it is all about clearing the way for Marxism. For me, the science is clear enough; it is ideology which has to be fought.

richardscourtney
Reply to  Greg Woods
May 18, 2015 10:59 pm

Greg Woods
I wrote

This provides a problem for opponents of the ‘green’ agenda.
Outside of the US, supporters of the ‘green’ agenda and opponents of the ‘green’ agenda both come from across the entire political spectrum. It is difficult for those on the left to support the US political Right, and many of the US political Right fail to understand the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

You have replied

I beg to disagree. Science will win out sooner or later, but the real battle is ideological. It doesn’t matter if the ‘pause’ lasts for a hundred years. As Figueres made perfectly clear, it is all about clearing the way for Marxism. For me, the science is clear enough; it is ideology which has to be fought.

Q.E.D.
Richard

May 18, 2015 10:57 am

I’m happy to report that the federal contribution to the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting was “only” $445 million in FY2014. With a GOP president, it might drop to the correct level of zero.

Reply to  sturgishooper
May 18, 2015 11:22 am

“With a GOP president, it might drop to the correct level of zero.”
Not a chance.
Even with a Conservative President, it’s unlikely that even a dime less would be spent.

Reply to  Matthew W
May 18, 2015 11:57 am

House budgets have zeroed it out since 2011, if I am not mistaken, as Newt tried to do.

Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2015 10:59 am

…“The unspeakable BBC parks its tanks on my lawn”…
To a point, my lord….
TV license administration is actually undertaken by Capita Ltd.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2015 11:05 am

But Capita acts as the BBC’s agent or servant. In law, it is regarded as though it were the BBC. So its tanks were indeed the BBC’s tanks. I now keep a mouldy potato to hand.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2015 2:05 pm

Even parking tickets are issued by private companies these days.

Athelstan.
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2015 11:48 pm

Raedwald refers to it as cRapita, I think that, the moniker is rather apt bloody well spot on.

Russ Wood
May 18, 2015 11:08 am

South Africa, too, has a TV tax/licence. I believe there are about 3-4 millon TV licences held. The last census showed about 8 million households with a TV. No detector vans, only threats -oh, and they don’t believe that you don’t have a TV, even if you are dead!

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Russ Wood
May 18, 2015 2:46 pm

In South Africa you have to provide a licence to the shop to buy a TV in the first place. It is illegal to sell you one without it.
In a very democratic way, you can buy a car without a licence. If you want a licence, you can get one in Johannesburg for R2000 with a test (guaranteed pass, and no pass if you don’t pay) or R2500 if you don’t want to take the driving test at all. Very formal. Very organised. The official test fee is R108. The rest is organised overheads.
Read the impressions of those trying to get their licence: http://www.drivers.com/article/409/

TonyK
May 18, 2015 11:08 am

John Doe says ‘Was always under the impression the vans were bogus’. I had this impression too. In the days of tubed TV’s with high-frequency (15KHz) and high voltage oscillators, no doubt some sort of signal could be picked up at a short distance. But with flat-screen TV’s all working at low voltages, is this still the case? Does anybody know for certain? And can anybody clarify how other ‘public’ broadcasters are financed? I have always held the opinion that, within ten years or so, ALL television will come down an optical fibre and you will be able to watch any programme (UK spelling) whenever you like after the airdate. No recording, no missing stuff – great! What will the Beeb do then? By all means finance it from general taxation, but make sure it sticks to its declaration of impartiality on pain of having funding cut!

Reply to  TonyK
May 18, 2015 11:43 am

Some of the vans are bogus. But the live ones are capable of detecting what program you’re watching.

richard verney
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 2:48 pm

I am not sure that that is correct. In the past when people have challenged the BBC the BBC has never wished to give disclosure of how there equipment works and what it can dedect.
The BBC successfully prosecutes its cases because of admissions made by people when interviewed, or by letting inspectors in the house and seeing how the TV is set up (ie., with an aerial plugged in).
I think that if no admission is made and the inspectors are not allowed in the house, the BBC would not run a prosecution based solely upon a claim that their dedector van had picked up a TV watching live broadcast TV as they would have to adduce how this was done and BBC wish to keep it confidential.
I think that the TV dedector vans are more of a deterent than anything else. People are hoodwinked into believing that the van can or has dedected the use of a TV receiving/watching live broadcast material. Of course, there is very sensitive audio equipment that can listen in to sound often simply from minor resonance of window panes. But the BBC probably would not wish to disclose that that is what is going on since then they would be accused of eavesdropping on private conversations and that is rather too STASIesque for public consumption.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2015 3:55 pm

There is already a controversy over smart TV sets with voice recognition picking up private conversations.

mwhite
Reply to  mwhite
May 18, 2015 11:11 am

http://www.streamtv.co.uk/
Would like to know if the Beeb on this site is available outside the UK???

Reply to  mwhite
May 18, 2015 11:14 am

The BBC news channels are available on the European satellite systems.

xyzzy11
Reply to  mwhite
May 18, 2015 8:57 pm

Nope – not in Oz anyway!

Reply to  mwhite
May 18, 2015 11:12 am

But even if you get a Freesat box you will still have to pay a licence fee if you watch either the BBC or any programme that you are receiving live. Same goes for cable or any other method of delivery. If your TV is receiving live programming and you are watching it, you must have a licence – unless the programme (e.g. a movie) was not made for television and is merely being rerun there. It is only live programming that you are obliged to get a licence for.

mwhite
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:23 am

You don’t see the detector vans in the South of Spain, no problem in Norway or Greece either

mwhite
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:27 am

While I was stationed in Germany most of the “married” had Sky TV.

otsar
May 18, 2015 11:09 am

How successful are the vans at detecting LCD displays since they do not throw out magnetic fields from deflection coils. The local oscillator/mixer on the new LCDs do not put out much of a signal and are well shielded.
What are they actually picking up?

Reply to  otsar
May 18, 2015 11:23 am

The BBC’s detectors are very high-powered and, at close enough range (typically not more than 100 feet), they can tell what program you’re watching. It’s harder for them than it used to be: for instance, we have two computers and assorted cellphones and iPads as well as the main TV, and asn electronic grand piano keyboard for me to compose music for weddings (I’m just polishing six ecossaises for a wedding in Rannoch). I like to think of them listening to my elegant compositions (the Rannoch Rose, the Woodpecker, the Stag on the Hill, the Burn in Spate, the Merry Blacksmith, and Safe Home).
We use our various viewing gadgets mainly to watch and listen to the great works of Classical music, all of whom, performed by the leading virtuosi, are available free on YouTube, and in increasingly high quality. No TV licence is needed for that. For more and more people, live television is becoming irrelevant.
I used to visit an old couple in a working-class estate when I was at Cambridge. I remember how terrified they were when the TV licence came up for renewal. They had a little tin box with slots for rent, food, electricity, phone, gas and local taxes. But there was no slot for the TV licence fee, and they tearfully told me one day they didn’t know how they were going to afford it. A whip-round in the College bar sorted that out, and, as a result of cases like that, the licence fee is now free if you are over 75: but that couple were in their early 70s and could not possibly afford today’s monstrous licence fee.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:28 am

I haven’t watched broadcast TV for at least a decade or cable for almost as long. All I watch on TV is via streaming video. For which of course I don’t even need a TV.
The Beeb is headed for the garbage can of history, one way or another.

Resourceguy
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:36 am

Once you detach from live television there is really no going back because the content is in rapid decline. Attempts to go back to it are disappointing and amount to wasted money. The consumers of large LED displays and all the other tech innovations for TVs are discovering they have to use alternate content on those sets or they realize how they were duped playing hi fidelity crap on a very large screen. Speaking of which, is it even possible to install a 70 inch LED TV in a typical London flat?

Ex-expat Colin
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 11:51 am

Remember that kind of thing. And me and my dad lining up for ages at a Main Post Office 4 miles away with the Road Tax queue. Days of big VHF H shape antennas. And, (oh dear) the Black & White minstrel show…in black and white at 405 lines with just about a 12 inch screen.

Richard Mallett
Reply to  Ex-expat Colin
May 18, 2015 2:28 pm

Not only is there no longer a Road Tax queue, there is no longer a Road Tax disc.

Sam The First
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 6:29 pm

Nor can anyone on Pension Credit afford it – the licence fee is a massive chunk of the weekly income of anyone on a basic state pension. This is esp the case for those (MANY) single people (mostly women pensioners who were never able to afford a pension) whose Housing Benefit no longer covers their rent, following the cuts early last year.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 10:07 pm

I wonder why UK hasn’t simply installed a cellphone-based licence checker into all new TVs sold in the country since a certain date? You turn on the TV, it calls home via cellphone to see if the licence is paid and fails to receive BBC or all channels until the TV licence is up-to-date on the central billing server. Your cellphone already does this before every call. By firing the whole BBC police force and selling off the vans, never to buy them again, they could cut the license fee by half, at least! License cops can find other work.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  otsar
May 18, 2015 2:53 pm

The TV will have a tuner, regardless of the type of display. As I understand it, that’s where the magic happens, resulting in a signal at either 2x or .5x the frequency of the channel. I’m not sure there’s any way to shield the set, since the power wiring might serve as a leakage path for the tell-tale frequency.

zemlik
May 18, 2015 11:26 am

I do sympathize, I have not watched television for 5 years now. I used to get the threatening letters, the first 2 of which I replied to, and visits from large ladies demanding to come and have a look around the abode. After the last one I phoned the police to complain I was been harassed and they were quite understanding saying I should call them if they came around again.
I do have knowledge of the outrageous bias of the BBC from listening to the radio, I noticed in particular the constant sniping and ridicule directed at UKIP all of last year.
The constant reporting of any LGBT and other minority issues appears to suggest an agenda to attempt to mould the thinking of the society which seems unhealthy to me..

Mariwarcwm
May 18, 2015 11:26 am

Hurray! Get rid of the BBC license fee and send all those who run the BBC out to earn a living like the taxpayers who are forced to fund them and their daft understanding of climate. If people believe in Global Warming I no longer trust them to be right about anything else. It is a litmus paper for stupidity.

Ex-expat Colin
May 18, 2015 11:39 am

Apart from the TV programmes and there are a few of value..not including drama any more. Its the BBC World Service (WS) that really surprises me and most in UK don’t listen I suspect. It is largely non British crap and seems to hinge on Nigeria more often than not. That means for me being an indigenous Brit, I cannot understand most of what is being spoken. Its another pidgin version. Might be the N. London version where so much of the BBC junk arises from. The noisy yadder round the table over the air.
Its alarming really because the WS calls its self the worlds radio programme….very, very often. I seem to remember the Chinese saying they once learned English via the WS or that it assisted them greatly. Think they must be doing that with a Nigerian twang now? Its no longer much about Britain and English! I welcomed it in S. Arabia when the Grand Mosque was grabbed in Mecca (oops!). Anyway, comms blackout on a comms system that was largely banned anyway.
This licence fee began with the Wireless & Telegraphy Act that required anybody operating radio receivers and/or transmitters to annually cough up. That Act is likely still in place thus allowing you to be nailed harshly. Not sure any more and largely don’t care.
The detector vans as far as I remember used radio spectrum analysers (SA) and as I experienced on a different job were used often by the FCO in other places. The detector vans sought the common TV LO frequency, I was looking for other stuff. I saw one very early one morning (6:30) pull out of a small residential area bordering the countryside…big antenna array on the vehicle side. That’s an array capable of forming a narrow receiving beam.
They have a database now, so no reliance on SA’s I think?
Does the Royal Family pay this poll tax?

Reply to  Ex-expat Colin
May 18, 2015 11:50 am

The current legislation requiring payment of a licence fee is the Communications Act 2003 and the spate of pettifogging regulations made thereunder. There is an arguable case that the licence fee is actually unenforceable in any circumstances, because the legislation says the Secretary of State and/or the BBC may make regulations (without even referring them to Parliament for democratic input). Though the Secretary of State’s regulations are promulgated, the BBC’s are not. And there is reason to believe that the BBC’s regulations are not identical to those of the Secretary of State. The BBC’s regulations are not required to be identical to those of the Secretary of State, but they must not be incompatible with them.
However, the BBC’s regulations, like those of the Secretary of State, must be published in an organized formn. As far as I know, the BBC has not done this. For instance, there is nothing in the Communications Act to say that one may watch a TV without a licence as long as it is not receiving live programs. The BBC permits this, but there is no document, as far as I know, in which all of the conditions on which licences are and are not required are clearly spelled out. Accordingly, the entire regulations are void for uncertainty of promulgation, and no one can be lawfully made to pay a licence fee.
If anyone knows of any BBC regulations made under the Communications Act, please join this thread.

Ex-expat Colin
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:05 pm

That identifies inconsistency and failure particularly where parliament is not consulted. The BBC thus effectively acting as a pirate broadcaster. It is often indicated that Gov and BBC are too closely linked and therefore can get away easily with such non compliance(s).
I once tried to understand that Act relating to GPS repeater systems. I gave up in the end. They were banned latterly due to usage against the emergency services and so on.

zemlik
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:24 pm

I think that currently the BBC says that you may not watch anything, on any device, that is being broadcast to air or has recently been broadcast to air, This is probably why they keep saying that they are available on tablet, mobile and wotnot, preparing for some new arrangement in the next revue of the license fee.
By the way that big mast at Crystal Palace fried the security system on my ancient vehicle a few years ago so they got me someway.

Ex-expat Colin
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 18, 2015 12:47 pm

A sudden thought….does the edge of the Freeview footprint in outer Scotland radiate upon you. Freeview…..bit of a strange term to use I thought?
Best wishes to you in this endeavour and let us know about funding requirements. And via Bishop Hill if poss.

Reply to  Ex-expat Colin
May 18, 2015 3:16 pm

The telephone tax reimposed by LBJ to pay for the Vietnam War has still not been totally repealed, although parts of it were in 2006, after 40 years.

DaveF
May 18, 2015 11:40 am

To all those Brits who have no TV and find the constant letters harassing: Send a polite reply ‘Recorded Delivery’ marked FAO whoever the signitory is and put Copy to whoever your MP is on the bottom. Send a copy to your MP marked ‘No action to be taken – for information only.’ You’ll get a much more polite reply from TV Licensing telling you they won’t write again for two years. It’s possible, but unlikely, that you’ll still get a visit, though.

Reply to  DaveF
May 18, 2015 9:58 pm

Best thing is never to reply at all.

DaveF
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 19, 2015 1:31 am

It’s worked for me for the past seven years. Best wishes, Lord M.

Resourceguy
May 18, 2015 11:44 am

Mind control is a terrible thing to waste, like a missed opportunity for some social architects.

RD
May 18, 2015 11:48 am

Get off my lawn…

Kitefreak
May 18, 2015 12:02 pm

I evicted the TV from my house years ago. Good move.
I can get all the news and comment I want via the internet. Most Hollywood films are sh*te, the news is full of lies, soaps are full of social engineering messages and corporate product placement. The ‘news’ (the BBC/corporate kind) is there to form public opinion, not to inform the public. The TV’s a waste of space; there’s nothing on there I’d want to watch. It is a very great shame that millions of people are hypnotised by it though.
In the wake of Cameron’s “if you obey the law we will leave you alone” (but not anymore because we’re implementing a super high-tech, stazi-style, pre-crime detection, mass surveillance system to deprive law abiding citizens of their right to free speech) statement, I think it is good that MB is drawing attention to the plight of the ordinary citizen being subjected to this kind of tyranny.

May 18, 2015 12:02 pm

Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
If Lord Monkton brings Jeremy Clarkson back he will be the most popular man in Britain, but one.

Resourceguy
May 18, 2015 12:06 pm

No wonder the manipulators of all global financial markets are in London. The enforcers are out checking BBC license fee compliance. I’ll bet this is also on the top of the list of compliance steps by extremist cells and Russian assassins to avoid exposure.

May 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Dear Chris,
I can’t fathom what your article might have got to do with global warming (or lack thereof) but you are funny and fun is the salt of life. I am trying (on a much lower level than you) to fight the TV tax They insist on imposing on me every year in Paris, and I am going to use some of your tactics for next year. To thank you, if one day you feel like taking a break from what they insist on calling food in the UK (with the exception of scottish breakfasts, of course) I am ready to offer you a dinner in Paris, as long as you are willing to put up with my accent. Just let me know.

zemlik
Reply to  kalya22
May 18, 2015 12:39 pm

What would a global warming themed Parisienne dinner consist of ?
the organizers of the whatchamacallit summit need to know

zemlik
Reply to  zemlik
May 18, 2015 12:43 pm

something flambe is a bit obvious. I’m sure contributors can come up with tastier

Reply to  zemlik
May 18, 2015 12:53 pm

Since they hate humanity, maybe Bebe Flambe.

zemlik
Reply to  zemlik
May 18, 2015 12:54 pm

barbecued antarctic krill pate on toast with sun dried tomatoes ?

zemlik
Reply to  zemlik
May 18, 2015 1:03 pm

polar bear steaks barbecued on regurgitated wood chippings ( help me out here )

Reply to  zemlik
May 18, 2015 2:16 pm

I’ll let you in on a “secret” of french cuisine: they don’t really care all that much where it’s coming from or what its carbon footprint might be as long as it tastes good.

Reply to  kalya22
May 18, 2015 2:41 pm

Dear Kalya22, – Count me in. I’ll be in Paris in December for the UN pifflefest, and if you had a room for me that would be excellent. Then I could take you out to dinner.
The connection between this article and global warming is that the BBC has relentlessly misled its viewers and listeners about the subject, and has abandoned the impartiality enjoined upon it by its agreement with the Secretary of State. If we can knock the BBC off its perch, the prejudices of the British establishment that run strongly in favour of the climate nonsense would begin to shift quite rapidly.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
May 19, 2015 1:02 am

I wish I had a room for you… but the dinner invite stands.
Thanks for the explanation. Your effort at knocking the BBC off its perch is extremely ambitious in my views, but your correcting their BS is very much appreciated! Keep at it as long as They don’t succeed in making it illegal to do so…

May 18, 2015 12:39 pm

Lord Monkton, try to get the BBC to actually reveal if they are actually receiving ANY signals from a television set. I’m going to bet that it will turn out that the whole detector thing has been a fraud from the beginning. That’s as somebody who’s been playing around with electronics since he was 15, and been dealing with either keeping RF out or keeping RF in one way or another for about 20 years off and on in a bunch of environments. There’s a whole science to shielding for interference and eliminating it and quite frankly if the RF is done properly, which these days it usually is, there is no way that I know of that will detect RF or EMF within inches of the device, let alone outside, through a stone wall and the body of a van.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2445153/Are-TV-detector-vans-just-cunning-trick-For-decades-claimed-trap-licence-cheats-In-fact-theyve-led-single-prosecution.html

Resourceguy
Reply to  jccarlton
May 18, 2015 1:02 pm

This is why we have class action lawyers in the U.S. But I suppose the NSA programs are the equivalent on a far larger budget scale. Oh, this is not about national security.

Reply to  jccarlton
May 18, 2015 10:01 pm

Actually, the old analog TV’s in the wooden cabinets, later plastic, leaked like a sieve. The trucks look like they’re picking up the leakage from the IF strips, a standardized frequency no matter what channel you watched on 21 or 42Mhz. The 4.5 Mhz sound IF FM could also be picked up, the difference frequency between the AM picture carrier and FM sound carrier on every channel (different but standardized on every analog TV in a country). Any of the three systems radiated like hell as any AM radio listener nearby can attest listening to the horizontal oscillator’s horrible harmonics output from the high voltage section (harmonics every 15.575 Khz across the AM radio band buzzing away). During these times, it was easy to spot a running TV and, with a little tuning, you could listen to the audio on its audio IF frequency to tell which channel it was tuned to.
Today, however, in digital land without all the IF strips, high voltage horizontal sections, etc., I think the trucks are old time bullshit, UNLESS the UK govt has forcibly installed a transmitter in each TV sold in the UK to entrap users. Maybe that’s what’s in the new units….a kind of cellphone transmitter to a central station….real easy to do.
Larry W4CSC. Ham since 1957 (I was 11). Broadcasting and military electronics for over 40 years.

Jim Francisco
Reply to  Larry Butler
May 19, 2015 6:53 am

Thanks Larry for the explanation. I thought our folks in the US were monitored somehow like a poll to get an idea how popular certain programs were.