We Know Where You Live …

Is it just me, or is the BBC’s current ‘It’s all in the database‘ money-with-menaces ad wonderfully Orwellian ? The background siren, the dog barking, the knock on the door ?

This site has an interesting video of a licensing official stepping perhaps beyond his remit.

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93 Responses to We Know Where You Live …

  1. thud says:

    I left home and got my own place in 1979…I’ve never had a license.not exactly omnipotent are they?


  2. Greencoat says:

    ‘I wants ter make yer flesh creep…’


  3. Bernard says:

    I do not understand why more have not risen up against this ‘I know where you live’ menace. In other walks of life it would land you in court.


  4. gharqad tree says:

    Since moving into the flat where I currently live 16 months ago, we’ve received letters on a bi-weekly basis, each one getting more threatening than the last, each one taking a different form, and some arriving in envelopes with truly “menacing” black borders.

    After a certain number of these letters had arrived we started to get knocks at the door, after ignoring which we found leaflets stuffed through the letterbox, saying on the front, “We said we’d call…” and on the inside, along with other information, “…here’s why we’ll call again:”

    After two or three of these unsuccessful visits the letters resumed, but returned to the simpler form of the earliest letters. I think they move through a pre-set cycle.

    Black borders… “we said we’d call…” Defenders of the BBC, are you proud that this is the way your revenue (and in some cases handsome salaries) are raised? By intimidation and by the use of language that we might expect of thugs sent by a local loanshark?

    Not merely that, but legal threats, intimidatory language, and constant harrassment aimed at someone who does not even have a television? In my case I can ignore the letters and visits wih the contempt they deserve, but congratulations on probably scaring the living sh*t out of the elderly and weak.


    As I’ve said before, I have two friends working for the BBC. One of them is the archetypal “It’s all the white man’s fault, the west is evil” bleeding heart. Last week she was telling me how angry she was at the abolition of the lowest tax rate, how she felt angry on behalf of the poor of this country, and then she laughed as she recalled that seconds later she realised that on her salary she would be better off. She grinned and showed me the Macbook she’d bought to celebrate. I grinned back and thought of the mass intimidation of the poor by a gang of stupid thugs that had helped secure her Macbook and her lovely life for her.

    The unique way the BBC is funded. Unique, as in anachronistic, unethical, borderline illegal, and shameful.


  5. Jack Bauer says:

    If you you want a picture of the future, imagine a BBC boot stamping on a human face – for ever.

    Nu-Blairwellian indeed.


  6. Jack Bauer says:

    max — BIG AUNTY


  7. max says:


    Now back to work:P

    JB, working on a logo.


  8. Jack Bauer says:

    Anyone know… does BIG AUNTY sell its data base to third parties?


  9. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    Why borderline illegal? It IS illegal to harrass a creditor, never mind threaten them.


  10. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    Debtor, whatever.


  11. adam says:

    wernt the bbc deleting comments from their website and calling them cyber bullying and harrasment
    a few weeks ago.

    These Bristol Uni media studies graduates that work at the bbc think they can threaten and intimidate their ‘customers’ in a soviet way.


  12. Biodegradable says:

    All your database are belong to us!

    [This message was created and transmitted using a Microsoft™ free device]


  13. libertus says:

    It IS highly offensive, and totalitarian. Even governments must (theoretically, anyway) seek the consent of taxpayers through elections, and we have (theoretically, again) a choice of masters. But this ‘advertisement’ is really Orwellian – and hardly by chance, since the BBC was the very model for Minitrue.
    If the BBC wants friends (if!), let it explain WHY we should continualy stump up (on pain of imprisonment), when most other countries – and all of the Anglosphere, AFAIK – have ditched this antiquated system of command (false) economy.
    Nick Reynolds, can you hear me?
    Your boys take a hell of a beating – for echoing Soviet-style menace.

    (Let me add that the UK probably leads the world, outside the Democratic Republic of Korea, in spying on its own citizens and gathering information about them, so the BBC doubtless would be surprised that this ‘ad’ could cause offence.)


  14. Cockney says:

    until such time as the law changes and the license fee is withdrawn I really can’t see how the BBC is supposed to chase debtors if sending letters and making house calls both constitute ‘threatening behaviour’?? immediately commence legal proceedings without warning??


  15. libertus says:

    Cockney: you bring a civil proceedings, like everyone else has to, to recover an unpaid debt.


  16. Jack Bauer says:


    Menacing shots of a cowed, dark country.

    FEMALE (V.O)
    Your town. Your street. Your home.
    It’s all in our database. New techology
    means it easy to find, imprison, and
    deport illegal aliens and islamo-terrorists…
    (a beat)
    And impossibe to hide… Don’t even think
    about it Ahmed…


    FEMALE (V.O.)
    It’s all in the database.


  17. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    “if … making house calls both constitute ‘threatening behaviour” –

    there is no ‘if’ about it. Making house calls to your debtors is threatening behaviour in law. There is such a thing as courts of law. It is a measure of the craven acquiescence of the British people in their own oppression that they permit such criminal behaviour from an organ of the state, when a greengrocer doing such a thing would end up with a criminal record.


  18. Andy says:

    The arrogant BBC have acted like an indestructible rent-collector for too long.

    I agree with N.O. a democracy like ours has no place for state-funded intimidation.


  19. gharqad tree says:

    Cockney – I also receive mail addressed to previous residents of this address who have actually defaulted on parking fines and other things, and the language used is restrained, concise, to the point, and factual without being threatening. That’s for people who are ACTUALLY debtors.

    I, on the other hand, owe the BBC nothing and have defaulted on no commitments. I do not require a licence. Why then do I receive mail in which I am threatened, in which the possibility that I am not actually a criminal is mentioned in the small print in the reverse of the letter? Why the black borders to the envelope? Why the threatening tone of “We said we’d call…”?? Your justification is nonsense. The BBC’s tax enforcers use the tactics of small-time local thugs.

    Actual debtors are treated with more courtesy and restraint by councils and private companies than the innocent are by the BBC’s revenue raisers.


  20. Horace Dunn says:


    The BBC Licence people routinely write to people telling them that they are under suspicion of breaking the law and must therefore admit officials to their property for an inspection.

    Surely you can see that anyone might feel threatened who finds himself accused of illegal activity by a state agency, which then goes on to inform him that it has a right to gain access to his home and conduct a search.

    Well I’m a tough chap, and I felt threatened. How would someone more vulnerable feel?

    One should also be aware of the amount of money they spend on this sordid little exercise. This money, presumably, is taken from the telly-owner in order to pay for quality broadcasting, and instead is spent on harrassing respectable people. But then the taxpayer has no say over how BBC money is spent. The BBC is – to all intents and purposes – entirely unaccountable.


  21. Millie Tant says:

    I’m shocked that the BBC could even think it acceptable to put out something like that in all seriousness – it is what you would expect to see on a satirical comedy show. At first, I thought it WAS a joke – a trailer for a new programme or something like that.

    They have really overstepped the mark with this. It does show an incredible overweening arrogance and thuggishness of the BBC. It also of course points to a problem with the system and the method of collecting the enforced tax: (some) people don’t want to pay it and will avoid doing so if they can get away with it. But they ought to change the system, rather than resort to low tactics and intimidation on the air. The crassness of it.

    hope people will complain to their MP and the government department that is in charge of the BBC – the DCMS.


  22. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    “Surely you can see that anyone might feel threatened who finds himself accused of illegal activity by a state agency, which then goes on to inform him that it has a right to gain access to his home and conduct a search” –

    I am assured by legally qualified friends, admittedly without conducting an exhaustive examination, that BBC collectors are NOT entitled to enter your property without a court order, quite apart from all the other aspects.

    IF they are lying about this particular point, then that’s yet another criminal offence.


  23. Liam H says:

    We deserve the BBC for being so lazy and not getting rid of years ago.


  24. Peter says:

    The BBC licensing is administered by a publicly listed company Capita.As such they can be sued.
    Next time one of their snoops comes to the door demand their name and address.You have children and want to see if the snoop has a criminal record.
    Look up Capita’s directors and send them an encouraging letter or email.
    As a publicly listed company,Capita is regulated by the Financial Services Authority,accounts will be lodged at Companies House,where ever.
    Companies do not like bad publicity.


  25. Rob says:

    These fascists cannot, as yet, enter your property without a court order unless you invite them in. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES invite them into your home. Refuse politely, and if they refuse to vacate your property call the police and have them arrested for trespass.

    Incidentally, the state can only act with this sort of thuggish impunity because it has disarmed and cowed the citizens to the point where self-defence is a criminal offence.


  26. Alex says:

    Are you accusing the BBC of having a bias towards getting its money? I think that’s stretching it a bit.


  27. libertus says:

    You don’t get it, do you, Alex. It’s about MY (your, everyone else’s) money. Further, you seem to understand very little about the laws on collecting civil debts.


  28. Alex says:

    It’s not about bias though, is it?


  29. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    “Are you accusing the BBC of having a bias towards getting its money? I think that’s stretching it a bit” – pathetic. Can you really not read a simple piece of English prose and comprehend it? Which primary school DID you get to? No, we are accusing the BBC of committing an offence each time they send a thug to threaten people on the doorstep or send a threatening letter: these are criminal offences.


    And yes, it is bias in the sense that the BBC is getting away with committing crimninal offences by dint of being the BBC.


  30. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    A few years ago I was continually harrassed by the BBC (or their appointed thugs, which comes to the same thing since one can be vicariously liable for the actions of one’s agent) when I didn’t have a TV set. In the end I complained to my MP, who sent them a pretty sharp letter. Then they desisted. I urge you all to get your MP involved in such a situation, provided s/he is not a McLabour drone, of course.


  31. Martin says:

    Capita. Wonder if this had anything to do with them getting the job of harassing people about the TV tax?



  32. Mary says:

    My license is valid from 1st May to 30th April. I pay by quarterly direct debit on 1st May, August, November & February. There is a £5.00 surcharge because quarterly payments are considered to be “partly in arrears”. I have never been able to understand why. It seems to me that I am paying in advance.


  33. Tocqueville says:

    This isn’t any different from the DLVA’s “pay or we’ll crush your car … fear … terror … database” advert. The Beeb has to keep up with the time.

    Of course, this has been predicted since 1835. See here. We need, I’m afraid, guns. Lots of guns.


  34. pounce says:

    The first and last time the TV licensing folk knocked on our door the man in questioned got a smack in the mouth as well as getting thrown out on his arse for entering our home after I had closed the door in his face in order to get my TV licence in which to show him. On thrusting the Licence in his face in which to substantiate my right to watch the telly he proclaimed
    “That’s the wrong licence” (It was a colour one)
    Told him to take it up with the Post office as that is where I purchased it.

    Imagine my joy on now receiving 2 letters from the BBC telling me I need to purchase a TV licence as their records show we haven’t got one. The letter came with a Direct debit form made out from Dec 2006.
    What is strange is that not only do we have a licence but it ran out in Feb (which has been renewed) So I wonder just how do the BBC check up on people?

    On that note I look forward to the Licensing man knocking on the door. I shall simply tell him to check his records (Of which I expect him not to) take me to court and have them lose the case as I produce not only this years licence but every licence I have bought in the past 7 years at this location.

    Hopefully they don’t enter my house uninvited.


  35. Jason says:

    When I lived in Britain from the time I moved out of home at 17 to the time I left for the States at 30 I never had a TV license. I could not accept that they wanted me to buy a license just for owning a TV, which seemed like my basic human right.

    Of course I had various letters warning me etc, which I just ignored. The only time I got hassle, a guy rang my buzzer repeatedly. I lived 3 stories up and looked out of my window to see a man with a clipboard.

    I said “so who are you” and he said “can you come down please”. I told him “not until you tell me who you are and what you are doing here”….to which he repeated his request, and I repeated mine.

    Eventually, after a lot of huffing and puffing, he said “I’m from the Post Office, I have a package for you”. Noticing that very obviously he was NOT carrying any package of any kind (what a dumbass) I asked him to show it to me.

    It was at that point he told me “OK, TV license”. I could not laugh hard enough as I closed the window and went back to The Simpsons. I never heard from them again.


  36. Jason says:

    I might also add that people over here are usually shocked when I tell them about Brits needing a license to have a TV by law….the ones that didn’t already know anyway.

    They say things like “wow, do they open your mail too?”


  37. Jack Bauer says:

    Jason — As you were watching The Simpsons, I hope you said as loudly as possible. “Ha ha”… followed by “Why You Little” — then choking sounds.


  38. Atlas shrugged says:

    This is a simple proposition it is a shame that very few seem to understand the reality of there hopelessly powerless situation.

    We get FASCIST intimidation and 24/7 BBC FASCIST propaganda because we live in a FASCIST country and always have done.

    The only difference is that the gloves are now coming off because we know live in a democratically unaccountable profoundly Fascist European Super State. Therefore keeping up the British establishments expensive long standing lie, that we are or have ever been living in a true liberal democracy, has now become redundant. Fascism did not lose in 1945. Only German Arab and Japanese Fascism did.

    Orwell’s 1984 is not coming to a town near you. It is well and truly HERE in your living rooms right now.

    Understand this before you are micro chipped. Because if you wait until you cant buy a loaf of bread without being a registered lover of Big Brother.

    They WILL make you and your family starve one day, and sooner then you may have hoped. But not before they have psychologically and/or physically tortured you, until you become eternally grateful for the great mercy Big Brother has shown you.

    A good ‘going over,’ they don’t need to do on any employees working at the BBC.

    Mainly because their respective universities brainwashed their tiny, numerically challenged, easily influenced brain cells, well before they got anywhere near Broadcasting house.

    Call it Marxist brainwashing if you wish. I call it Fascist brainwashing for no other reason then because it is long winded, using both words at the same time. Corporate sponsored enslavement is corporate sponsored enslavement. The exact name one gives this evil is of no material importance.

    It makes no difference because both Fascism and Marxism are blood brothers conceived and breed from the same stable and running for the same owners.

    Which is why they both always end up leaving ordinary people with the same type of nightmares if they are lucky. Permanently brain damaged or prematurely dead, if not so fortunate.


  39. gharqad tree says:

    Alex, it is about bias: we shouldn’t be forced by intimidatory television slots, postal harrassment, and lying thick thugs at the door, to pay for a television service that – in return for our public funding – constantly fails in its charter commitment to report on political matters impartially and even-handedly.

    The day the BBC reports fairly on the state of Israel, you can tell me that objections to these adverts have nothing to do with bias. I do not wish to end up in prison, Alex, so I am now forced to go without the benefits of television in my life altogether, it is now illegal for me to choose to watch Sky television because I refuse to pay the BBC for their hatred of Israel, their contempt for America, their sneering disdain for the Conservative Party, etc.

    And yet the BBC’s agents still send threatening letters to my home every ten days.

    It is absolutely connected with bias.


  40. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    gharqad tree,

    Do warn them, not mincing words, that you’ll take them to court for harrassment, CC your MP. That’s what I did at the time. I received a grovelling apology. Six months later, they wrote again; I sent them photocopies of the previous correspondence, and they stopped for good. Bullies give up when confronted by non-jelly.


  41. Redders says:

    It is no more than demanding money with menaces , these people are no better than schoolyard bullies , its intimidating and i would imagine designed to frighten .


  42. Anat (Israel) says:

    I have just shown this ad to a friend who is 70 years old and still thinks of Britain in post WWII anti-fascist terms. He is in complete shock. His first reaction was “what the hell is happening to Britain”.


  43. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    Anat, although things have become worse recently, this has been going on for decades …


  44. Bernard says:

    I have complained to the Advertising Standards Agency about this appalling ‘advertisement’.


  45. Original Robin says:

    If the BBC shows adverts that disaproves of all unpaid debt or non payment of money upfront for services rendered or to be rendered then there is no bias.


  46. gharqad tree says:

    Nearly Oxfordian – I’m not frightened by them, I know my rights (and theirs), and I’m quite content to let them continue to waste their time trying to frighten me. However, for the sake of the community as a whole I agree it’s a good idea to follow that course of action and actually try to do something to frustrate them; maybe if sufficient numbers did so then the message would begin to get through to them.

    Unfortunately however, I won’t be contacting my MP, a certain George Galloway. I’m not convinced he will share my view that the BBC is hopelessly and maliciously biased against Israel, America, or anything right of centre.


  47. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    gharqad tree, my heartfelt commiserations ;(


  48. gharqad tree says:

    Cheers. It’s ok though – I’m moving soon, somewhere less saturated in anti-Western sentiment, perhaps Tehran or Damascus.


  49. BaggieJonathan says:

    I am having problems convincing them my empty house (which I am selling) has no tv reception and my house I’m living in which has a licence (I transferred from that previous house) is all I need.

    They are getting very threatening.

    My MP is Clare Short, so no point me contacting my MP either (my commiserations too gharqad tree), if there is one MP who would give Galloway a run for his money ms Short has it more than covered 🙁