Labour’s Telly ‘Poll’ Tax



Just been listening to Today (around 07:35) where they’ve had on a couple of cheerleaders for the TV Tax…Former chairman of the BBC Lord Grade and shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman …..Justin Webb suggesting that if the BBC had called it a ‘Tax’ it would have been OK to throw people into jail..they’d have understood and accepted that….tipping their caps and exclaiming ‘Gord bless ya gov’nor, I done wrong!’ as they were carted off to the slammer.


Harman tells us she, and Labour, are unswerving supporters of the BBC, I’ll bet they are, and that not just those who have a telly must pay the tax but everyone, regardless of whether they watch the BBC or not, will have to cough up.

Grade didn’t like the technology/subscription route and suggested adding the Tax to your council tax….so again…you pay regardless of whether you have a TV.

They both of course liked the idea of not implementing any changes to the criminal status for non-payment of the tax….they liked the ‘let’s just see how it effects the BBC before change anything’ other words you know nothing will change…especially if the change in the law is merely a negotiating device for government in the charter review process.

Never mind the public and how it effects them.  Labour has said it will support the change in the law, though as above only a political move…the same old Labour trick of trying to look populist whilst imposing the dead hand of this case still really supporting the old system of TV tax and criminal sanction.

Independent of political influence?  How can the BBC claim that when they have made themselves so reliant on their friends in the Labour Party to keep funding their gravy train in the way they prefer?

Having said that, Cameron of course is terrified of the BBC, having prostrated himself in front of them and disemboweling his Party with the aim of getting the support of the unelected masters of propaganda at the BBC….and naturally folding under immense BBC pressure not to actually implement the new law…..


The BBC has said a “proper review” of future options must be carried out.


Ask and it shall be done, and indeed was done thus.


The BBC’s strategy director James Purnell said: “We are happy to work with government to see if it can be improved or whether there is an alternative that could be better.”

He said the present system “works pretty well” and warned the proposed change would be a “huge risk” which would increase instances of non-payment.

Earlier this month, Mr Purnell warned BBC channels could close if non-payment of the licence fee were decriminalised.


Sounds like they are ‘happy’.  Still, Labour man Purnell knows he has the unswerving support of his ex-colleagues when the real vote comes.



















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28 Responses to Labour’s Telly ‘Poll’ Tax

  1. Old Goat says:

    Is that the Harriet Harman, who a week or so ago was under everyone else’s (apart from the BBC, that is) spotlight for currying favour with certain groups who may have supported paedophilia? That one?


    • johnnythefish says:

      The BBC facilitated a sharp rehabilitation for Mrs Dromey, 70s cheerleader for the Paedophile Information Exchange, firstly by completely ignoring the story then giving it the full spin orchestrated by husband and IRA terrorist-lookalike Jack. She’s another privileged member of The Great Untouchable Left (patron: the BBC).

      A clearer case of ‘You scratch my back….’ would be hard to find.

      Bullingdon Club? Amateurs!


      • john in cheshire says:

        Apart from the PIE connection, wasn’t Mr Dromey also caught watching porn, and charging it to the tax-payer? I can’t help but wonder what kind of household their children grew up in.


        • Milverton says:

          That was Jacqui Smith’s husband. Dromey favourited black gay porns sites on his Twitter feed accidently. Twice.


          • john in cheshire says:

            Yes, thanks for the correction. The depth of depravity of their stratum of society is so deep that they all merge into one pile of filth.


  2. Frank Words says:

    Is anybody surprised?

    Harriet Dromey is BBC through and through (don’t be fooled by any occasional criticism of them- it’s done for effect). Grade might be a token Tory but is an industry insider and doesn’t want any change to the television funding landscape.

    As for Cameron I cannot make my mind up if he is soft on the BBC because he is an establishment yes man or a dope (probably both). His relationship with the BBC might be described as licking the boot that kicks you.


    • Mice Height says:

      It’s all part of ‘detoxifying the brand’ don’t ya know! Or as most people see it – appearing weak and pathetic.


    • Beeboidal says:

      Simon Heffer wrote an article in the Mail in which he stated that he had it on good authority that Cameron shaped policy in a way which he hoped would get him a fair go from the BBC. If true, that would make Cameron the most delusional man in Britain.


    • will says:

      Grade might be a token Tory but is an industry insider and doesn’t want any change to the television funding landscape

      Quite so the reminder of the media on the whole accept the status quo & do not want a BBC dependent on advertising feeding on their patch


  3. Umbongo says:

    Indeed, it was that Harriet Harman. Who could doubt that had it been a Conservative and, moreover, one who was less enthusiastic about the telly tax, that Evan would have slipped in a question concerning Harriets’s support for legalising child abuse?


  4. Beeboidal says:

    Harman is on the BBC circuit, popping up later with Nicky on 5 Live. Nicky asked her whether the BBC has a left wing bias. Harman produced the usual reply – the BBC gets complaints from left and right and so they are getting it about right. But congrats to Nicky for asking the correct question. ‘Does the BBC have right wing bias?’ is not in play, regardless of what BBC favourite Owen Shouty-Jones scribbles in the Guardian.


    • Frank Words says:

      It is to be expected that straw man articles like Owen Chav Jones pathetic yet hilarious piece in The Guardian (where else) will proliferate over the next few years as and when the issue of BBC funding and charter renewal crop up.


      • #88 says:

        Jones is probably correct, in fairness.

        To a Trotskyist every opinion would seem to be to the right (but not by much in BBC-land)


  5. Doublethinker says:

    Obviously the move to decriminalise the TV Poll Tax is a small move in the right direction and will make it easier for BBC refusnicks not to pay.
    But the end of the TV Poll Tax will come through the use of new technology making TVs obsolete. But you can already see that Labour will be looking to find new ways to pay for the BBC . This could be via direct taxation or by putting a purchase tax on new types of devices which could access BBC content. You would think that given how much they cherish their so called independence, the BBC would refuse to be funded by direct government money. But I suppose that when it comes to it they will take their salaries from any public source.
    But the good news is that in a world with so many ways of accessing content and with there likely to be many more providers than at present, the BBC will never come close to achieving the near monopoly of news and current affairs which it has enjoyed for almost a century. We might then see Labour realising that the BBC isn’t worth paying for because it won’t reach enough people. The BBC would then have to become what it should have been for at least 10 years, a subscription service.
    Anyway we can look forward to a world in which the BBC’s power to set the news agenda of the country by omissions, distortions and lies , whilst all the time pretending to be impartial ,is greatly reduced.


  6. Alan Larocka says:

    The TV tax must contravene some of those millions of Human Rights laws? Anyone with a legal background? It isn’t anywhere else in Euroland so it must a breach of something?


  7. chrisH says:

    Aren`t the BBC grand?
    Some of the crap they slopped up for us after roll call concerned us not getting enough books into prisoners.
    I myself have worried about this for years-and do hope that the murderers of Lee Rigby get to read War and Peace on extended loan for a while yet.
    Sadly the likes of Huhne only seem to get abridged sentences when they should be confined for at least the length taken to read the full Dickens.
    I reckon this tarriff idea could work…your sentence could seem like an Archer, when it`s only a radio Times in effect.
    Only Justin Webb would think that prisoners would NOT get dodgy stuff sent to them…and how dare the turnkeys worry…this is National Literacy remember?…and many good lads cry out for a good book and nurse Chelsea to read to them with the cocoa.
    Bet the Labour Party and the BBC are unhappy because the remaindered vanity crap by Blunkett or Easton goes straight to jail, by passing the Works these days.
    And book thievery before it gets inside is surely counter to Brussels…innit?
    The remaindered vanity crap could serve as make good cell partition walls, I` guess.
    MH370…Ukraine?…only Webb would wonder about the lack of a World Book Day for the Prison family…and only the Today editors would spoon feed him with this slop out pretending to be porridge!
    Let`s hope every prisoner is paying his TV License and is not smoking or being obese…NOW!
    F888in Wormwood Scrubs radio…that`s the BBC prison hulk that once thought itself a flagship!
    Scuttle off!


  8. George R says:

    “Former BBC chairman Lord Grade backs licence fee law change.
    “Decriminalising non-payment of TV licence is desirable but sanctions should remain for those who refuse to pay, says Grade.”
    By Nicholas Watt and Rowena Mason.


  9. Guest Who says:

    ‘Harman tells us she, and Labour, are unswerving supporters of the BBC’
    As is any pol savvy enough to realise that the BBc can break you simply by switching off the PR tap to the sofa, let alone getting BIJ/Newsnight to ‘investigate’ on a proactive basis.
    The BBC is so far winning this one.
    It puts up a fight on the decriminalisation initially, but when Labour concedes it’s wrong graciously gives in, thus paving the way to the only discussion being how to still load the £5B on the public some other way, preferably with even less chance to opt out, and of course even less accountability too.
    It’s so unique, they may just get away with it. Again.


  10. phil says:

    Grade’s idea for adding the cost of the BBC to council tax is disgusting and immoral.

    Does he really want money from a general tax to be used to fund vast wages for the likes of Graham Norton while people doing important work like caring for the elderly or the disabled get the minimum wage or just a tiny bit more from the same pot of money?


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Does he really want money from a general tax to be used to fund vast wages for [most BBBC thread topics]’?
      Well, of course he does. As do James Purnell, Tone, Chris, Hugs & Harriet.
      Because that way… no more opting out, and even less accountability.
      Win win.


  11. Charlatans says:

    I have often posted on here snippets of my BBC complaints and also contents of my completed BBC Trust or Media Sport Committee public surveys.

    I particularly think my input, combined with scores of others communicating with the Government Media Committee and BBC Trust, is always going to be the most powerful tool one can use to get points across to those who can do something about it.

    The reason I post this again now is I am very pleased to see that exactly my points I, (assume also many others made similar submissions), in December, about the TV Licence criminalisation in the last BBC Trust review, plus Media & Sport Committee questionnaire I completed online, are now being taken up and addressed by the Government.


    “One other point which I would wish the BBC takes more seriously. Why are our Magistrates Courts clogged having to deal with hundreds of thousands of non-licence fee payers, making this the largest single crime these courts deal with? This is an enormous national scandal generally affecting the poorest in society and is the next big thing to be exposed. Surely you can find a better way?

    I do appreciate the BBC does produce quite a lot of quality news and current affairs, but let us be honest, being in receipt of £3.5 billion (+?) from the taxpayer it comes at a stupendous cost.

    I do hope you understand my absolute disgust and resentment the way the BBC treats me and other peoples taxes with the gigantic corporation management payoffs we hear about, the enormous salaries, prolific immensely costly waste like the digital media IT cancellation, staff perks and even the way the BBC entered the avoidance of tax arena with its own employees, (you really know how to push our noses into it), etc, etc.

    Additionally I believe the mainly progressive left of centre, ‘champagne socialist culture’ that for years and years has been allowed to exist within the BBC, has been a contributory factor that has resulted in such criminal ‘Savillle’ and similar scandals to develop and also the corporation ethos is the reason in my having sometimes to receive biased reporting, leaving me to trawl other media for the full balanced facts.

    It is no surprise therefore that I personally find your organisation needs radical reform and quickly.

    Possibly the BBC management recruiting in a more balanced way, other than from mainly left of centre sources, would possibly be a good start to enable you to represent the majority of the nation.

    If the BBC could also enhance further its already highly successful commercial activities, this saving could go to reducing the licence fee for people like me who have to now watch the pennies.”


  12. Dave s says:

    This angers me. There is no defence for the criminalisation of the TV tax which is acceptable in this year 2014. No defence at all so even bleating on about a defence is a poor show.
    Technology has made the BBc business model absurd and they know it so just get on and get rid.
    All this whining is to keep the taxpayer’s money flowing into the coffers. Nothing else at all. Self serving and disgraceful.


  13. Barlicker says:

    A very tetchy Jo Coburn on the Daily Politics today interviewing Andrew Bridgen MP on his attempts to decriminalize the TV licence fee. It’s a criminal offence not to pay the community charge so why are you “singling out” the BBC, she asked? (Thereby acknowledging that the license fee is a poll tax). She went on to ask if he was just “kicking the BBC”. Helen Goodman, Shadow Media Minister was then told she was “aiding and abetting this” by voting for decriminalization, despite her having said that the BBC is “a symbol of Britain” and that the license fee should continue. Steve Hewlett, described simply as a “media consultant”, rather than as the Guardian columnist and Radio4 presenter that he actually is, came to the rescue by saying the BBC had no other sanctions for non-payers, such as turning the service off. Coburn took the BBC’s own estimate that it would lose £200 million as an established fact and pressed Bridgen to say which channels he would like to see closed down. Finally, the idiotic MP Alistair Carmichael, in typically groveling Tory fashion, said the license fee was the worst possible system, “except for all the others”: a statement with which, a smiling Coburn, could at last agree.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Steve Hewlett, described simply as a “media consultant”,… came to the rescue..
      I’m beginning to wonder if he is the only person anyone in the BBC or government seeking to ask about the BBC, has heard of.
      He’s totally interest-conflicted and not above saying anything, no matter how inaccurate, in guise of ‘expert opinion’ to prop up his cash cow.


    • Doublethinker says:

      Obviously the BBC is going to protect itself and we can’t expect that it will be impartial on this one. Equally we can be certain that Labour will do whatever it takes to preserve the BBC for obvious reasons.
      The Lib Dem chap ( I don’t think that he is a Tory) was supportive of the current funding model but the Tories must try to get away from a poll tax to a subscription service. Once that has been achieved the BBC will wither away without causing anyone too much of a problem.
      If there is a funeral service for the once mighty corporation I will certainly attend and then go off to celebrate Britain becoming a democratic country again.


  14. stuart says:

    yes,talking about the straw woman and privately educated posh girl harriet harman.whats up with her just lately,a couple of weeks ago she was as hard to find as a illegal immigrant if i remember right when her links to the labour party dominated paedophile information exchange was exposed,she was nowhere to be seen and went into hiding,but in the last week or so she has been popping up on the bbc and other media outlets more than owen jones,just goes to show,no shame,no blame is her motto and back to being the darling of the bbc as if nothing had happened.


  15. George R says:

    “BBC strategy chief backs out of licence fee debate”
    “The BBC’s ‘strategy’ chief, ex-Labour MP James Purnell, was due to defend the licence fee in a TV debate with Tory MP Andrew Bridgen yesterday but cancelled at the last moment.
    “Was he frightened of the outcome? Earlier, Mr Bridgen had attacked Mr Purnell’s hard-to-justify £295,000 BBC salary in the Commons.”

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