I have always opposed the principle and practice of people who live in the UK having to pay a licence fee to listen to the radio and then, in later years, watch TV. Towards the end of the 1950’s, ITV became available in north east England and by 1966 when I had to pay for my own TV licence, I was a supporter of the dissenters who wanted to just watch ITV, with its paid-for adverts and not bother with the BBC, and not pay the licence fee.
What was promoted at the time and still is today, is the theory that the BBC is an Independent organisation, not controlled by any political party or advertiser. A state-run entity.
I absolutely disagree with that. When it comes to politics, there are many employees of the organisation who do not hide their support or lack of support for the government of the day. Journalists have to be investigative and act as the devil’s advocate to prove their impartiality but I find that many cannot hide their true feelings for one side or the other, often during the close of their report.
I think the BBC organisation wastes millions, if not billions of pounds on excessively high salaries, fees and wastage through abysmal lack of control.
As a layman it seems to me that the myth of ITV being coerced into supporting certain political or other organisations by the companies who pay for advertising, is a just that; a fallacy. If anything, they are stricter.
Having said all of the above I have absolutely no evidentiary proof to back up my feelings or my theories, my opinion is based on what I read in the papers, hear on the radio and watch on TV.
I am happy about the TV licence freeze and will be even happier when it is abolished, if it ever happens.
John Lightfoot, Solar Solve Chairman