I have often commented on how much I like Radio Four. But last night they were talking rubbish. As I drove home, there was a discussion about “the unique way in which the BBC is funded”. This got me thinking (and ranting!)
ITV and Channel 4 are paid for by the adverts and so are free. I like that. If I want the free satellite channels, then I get a FreeView box. My mother has done that, and she’s very happy with it. Me – I want a thousand channels of rubbish, and I’m prepared to pay forty quid a month to do so. But (and here is the crux of my rant) if I don’t want satellite TV, then fine, I don’t have to have it.
I don’t have the option not to have the BBC. I must buy the TV licence which funds the BBC. The licence costs me twelve quid each month. And I have to pay this – I get fined if I don’t.
Last night the BBC were trying to justify the compulsory nature of the licence fee. And not making a very good job of it. In the past they have claimed that if people weren’t forced to pay the licence fee, then the BBC wouldn’t be able to afford to run Radio Three, because no one listens to it. Surely that isn’t a justification for extorting twelve quid out of me every month. If anything, it’s a valid reason for closing down Radio Three with immediate effect.
The idiot being interviewed last night claimed that the management at the BBC were very happy to replace the licence fee with a subscription. After all, loads of people pay nearly forty quid every month to Sky TV. Surely they wouldn’t begrudge a payment of twelve quid a month to the Beeb.
I don’t see that argument. For my forty quid to Sky I get several hundred TV channels, and a hundred radio channels. What does the BBC offer?
Nine TV channels, seven of which are not available without some sort of set-top box. And twelve radio channels, of which only radios one, two, four and five would seem to be used by anyone.
All of which I get with my Sky subscription anyway.
The presenter wittered on about the BBC being an “Institution”. I wouldn’t say that it is an institution that I can’t afford, just that it’s an institution I would rather someone else funded.
A colleague and I have been talking about
Talking of excessive amounts of beer, following one or two email exchanges, I’ve decided to relocate the pub crawl planned for Feb 22nd to Maidstone rather than
And talking of pubs, in the past I have been a firm advocate of. Beer in the Evening - a wonderful website, where you can review pubs, find good pubs, plan pub crawls…
Well, to be honest it used to be a wonderful web site. Now you can still review pubs, but a lot of the reviews are so obviously publicans bigging up their own pubs and slating the opposition. And there are a lot of people trolling the web site for no other reason than that they can. The option to add new pubs is no longer there – pubs that were suggested over two years ago haven’t been added.
The website has a forum, and in that forum the website’s owner has implied that he intends to do nothing more with the web site. Why should he go to the trouble of actually expending effort on it when the advertising revenue he’s getting from it is more than adequate?
I can see his point. He’s not doing it for fun – he’s doing it for financial gain. And so he wants maximum profit for minimum effort, and he’s getting just that.
The strength of Beer in the Evening has been its pub reviewers. I’ve reviewed close on two hundred pubs over the years. Whilst I enjoy doing so, my written reviews have contributed to the site’s profitability. And from the comments on the Beer in the Evening forum, whilst my contributions are welcome, I as a contributor feel that I have been treated with not a small amount of contempt.
Today I got an email from another regular Beer in the Evening contributor. It would seen that twenty of so of the more regular contributors have defected to another website. Pubs Galore is very similar to Beer in the Evening in concept. It doesn’t (yet) have as exhaustive a pub listing, but with management that is keen to have the site evolving, it will only be a matter of time….