Thursday, December 06, 2007

This address is UNLICENSED

"Your details are being passed to our enforcement officers."

Want to see the letter to the TV Licensing people?

Dear Television Licensing People,

Thank you for your very unpleasant threatening letter regarding the unlicensed status of this address. It was one of the first pieces of mail I received at my new home. In answer to your intolerably rude demands for money, threats and abuse, I thought of many possible replies, as you may imagine. But life is short so the simple truth must suffice: I will not now, nor will I ever purchase either a television license or a television.

The primary reason for this is that I have observed that the BBC is an evil organisation bent, apparently, on the sole aim of demolishing British culture, abolishing Christianity and degrading and bestialising the formerly noble and stout-hearted British people. This is an end for which I refuse to pay.

Secondarily, television in general is a soul-killing menace that turns a person into a docile, mindlessly consumerist puppet of the state, none of which I wish to become.

Thank you also for threatening to send the police 'round to harrass me, call me a liar to my face and generally humiliate me in front of my new neighbours. I was told that this sort of thing happens to citizens of this country a lot after 10 years of Labour government. Please be assured that if this should happen I will be recording all conversations on my digital voice recorder and making complaints of harrassment to the Members of Parliament and the press of my acquaintance.

I pray that this country returns soon to a modicum of its former stalwart Christian sanity and remain,

yours most sincerely,



Anonymous said...

This is a well written rebuff to the blackguards at the TV LIcensing "Authority".

But if it were sent, it would not prevent further inquiries - indeed never ending minatory inquiries - about the "unlicensed status" of your address.

Nothing can avert the midnight knock of the TV detector men once your name and address is in their "system".

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

In the words of Han Solo,

Bring em on, I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around.

If the good Lord wants me to become the anti- TV licensing poster girl, I'm very happy to fulfill that role. And besides, I know people and intend to make it a very memorable and public campaign.

The British people have a little problem with shrugging and saying "well, you can't fight the system..."

It's called fatalism.

Christians do not indulge in fatalism.

Anonymous said...

I've been living with this nonsense for over ten years. They will not leave you alone, despite your letter. (It may get you about six months' respite, but then they will start again.)

However, you are under no legal obligation to communicate with them at all, even to tell them you have no television. If they come to the door, you do not have to let them in the house (unless they get a search warrant) or answer any questions whatsoever.

See this helpful little page from the BBC itself:

We've never had a midnight knock, I must say...they escalate the letters, eventually threatening to get a search warrant...then they never do, there's a pause, and then it starts from the beginning again.

What really drives me crazy, though, is the fact that they have nasty billboards saying "Five houses on Suchandsuch Road do not have a TV Licence". I really need to get some spraypaint and add "That's because they have a life instead!"

Robert said...

Do I have this correctly: if you really have no TV, by law they can't make you pay. So as crazy as this business sounds, it's slightly less communistic than the way the CBC gets its money from Canadians, no?

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Yeah. Except for the harrassment part.

But I guess that's more like fascism.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

And I don't answer the door after ten.

Unless they want to break into my house, they're going to go away disappointed with the midnight knocking.

Anonymous said...

Um. I just remembered: if you have a computer at home capable of watching live streaming BBC television from the BBC site, that counts for the purposes of the law and you would have to pay for a TV licence.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was me, Elinor.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

capable of watching live streaming BBC television from the BBC site

no. I don't.

I've got a computer but no attachment thingy that would make the live streaming possible.

Raindear said...


What a nuisance that business must be - at least you got a few laughs from it. I wonder if the recipients will appreciate your letter. They say risibility is a property of human nature, but at Christendom College's Medieval Festival, the faculty used to perform Disputed Question skits, one of which was entitled: Whether a person who watches television has a soul?

Anonymous said...

Vas is dis "TV license"? Is this like a driver's license in that you have to pass a test on how to shoulder-check properly before changing channels? And they want you to get one even if you do not have a television? In other news, have you ever watched the movie "Brazil"? It will feel like a documentary after this.