TV Licensing Guilty of Harassment

—Stop paying for state propaganda
Jenny Marsh — first posted 02/2007
TV Licensing is guilty of harassment and intimidation by assuming that those without TV licenses are lawbreakers. But many are ordinary people who swapped their TV for a real LIFE.

IDON'T PAY TV LICENSES. I haven't done so for many years for the simple reason that I have not owned a TV for many years, or used other electronic devices to receive television programs. Anybody who knows me can attest for my dislike for these "brainwashing consoles" and people's willingness to not only pay good money for them but to place them in almost every room in their homes. I know it sounds radical, but when I feel like entertainment I read book, go for a walk, catch up with email, write an article or see a friend. Boring I know but there are a growing number of people who are tired of life centred around "what's on television tonight".

It wasn't easy, years ago, when I first gave away my TV, I remember coming home from work and feeling this huge boredom, emptiness and restlessness. We don't realize how addicted we are to something until we try to do without it. But I did stick that first month out and after a while I started to flower inside: I started to think more of my own thoughts; I started to write; I started to define my own life and my own self. I can honestly say that ditching the TV was one of the most important things I ever did in my life to get out of the mass, crazy mind-set. I am now free of 95% of state and corporate (they are actually the same thing now) propaganda.

And yet, every month I receive intimidating warning-letters from TV LIcensing here in the UK insinuating that I am breaking the law by not having a license. The letters are marked OFFICIAL WARNING in red capitals on the envelope in an attempt, no doubt, to try to shame me in front of my neighbours (sorry not that sort of person) to pay up because I am obviously a lawbreaker. But just because I don't have a TV, I don't see why I should have to actively proclaim my innocence in a country with a legal system that assumes my innocence until I am proven guilty. TV Licensing have never found me guilty of receiving TV programs without paying for a license, nor will they in the future as I am finished with TV for good, but as you will see from the letters I am receiving, even without any proof whatsoever, they are taking it upon themselves to assume my guilt. (Law abiding citizens don't receive "official warnings", nor are they "interviewed under caution".)

Below are copies of the last two warning letters that I have received from Richard Goodbody, Regional Enforcement Manager at TV Licensing, to give our readers some idea of what someone who has nothing whatsoever to do with television has to put up with each month in the United Kingdom:

Warning 1

Warning 2

From Richard Goodbody's perspective, I am guilty until I state my innocence, and he will no doubt continue his campaign of harassment against me in order to extract either a confession of innocence or the money for a TV license. And as I don't have a TV and refuse on principle to confess innocence, it appears that this situation is a stalemate that will continue indefinitely.

I know others who don't have TVs and who also refuse to be intimidated in this way. We feel very strongly about this issue as presumption of innocence (or non-guilt) is at the very heart of the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition.

TV Licensing might argue that the vast majority of people who do not have a TV license are in fact breaking the law, but, still, this is no justification to ignore a basic premise of our legal system. TV Licensing could well be breaking the law by harassing innocent people like myself in this way.

What should be done about this? Each of us needs to really look at the contribution of television to our lives and decide whether we really want to continue being programmed each day with the belief systems the media companies are promoting, beliefs that turn us into "good" citizens — neurotic, self-obsessed, envious, narcissistic, selfish, competitive, limbic-driven, shallow, insecure and unthinking neanderthals — in other words obedient consumers for the corporate system.

If you decide that it is time to cultivate some basic humanity for yourself and your family, you might consider getting rid of your television altogether, and then you can stop paying your annual brainwashing subscription to TV Licensing.


Addendum 20 May 2015:

Here is a great video posted on how to deal with constant hassle by the TV licensing people. The advice in the video is excellent:

  1. Never give them your name or any personal details. NEVER let them into your home, and NEVER admit to anything.
  2. Provide them with an official notice that you are revoking their "implied right of access" to your property. Also, provide them with a notice outlining your "fee schedule". (This isn't actually necessary as they don't have right to access anyway without either your express invitation or a court order.)
  3. Always film them right from the outset. This will prevent them from trying to intimidate, and it usually scares them away.


Addendum 14 January 2013:

The following video will give you some idea of the biases of the BBC: