I got asked a few days ago whether I still don’t need a TV licence:
We need you to confirm whether you need a TV Licence.
If you tell us you still don’t need one, you won’t need to do so again for almost two years.
As we mentioned when we last contacted you, we have to check every so often that a licence isn’t needed at your address.
People move home and circumstances can change, so we do need to get in touch with you occasionally. But it only takes a few minutes to let us know.
Only a few minutes, eh? It’s a few minutes too many.
With what other shop or service provider do I have to tell them that, no, I don’t want to buy their product? Do I need to periodically pop into local shops to tell them that, no, I still don’t want to buy a power sander? Or, no, I still don’t want to buy a lawnmower. Or, no, I still don’t want to buy a fishing rod. Or a Range Rover. Or a goldfish.
Why is it that only the TV licence people “need” to know whether I need a TV licence?
Look, I can tell them right now that I will never need a TV licence.
I stopped watching TV over 10 years ago.
Can’t you get that into your thick skulls?
But they seem to think that everyone needs to watch TV. It seems inconceivable to them that anyone wouldn’t want to watch TV. Or if they say they don’t want to, they can’t really mean it, and it’s a good idea to come back every couple of years and ask them if they’ve returned to their senses.
I stopped watching TV when I realised it was being used to try to manipulate my opinion. To be honest, it wasn’t just the BBC that was trying to manipulate me. So was ITV and Channel 4. And so were all the newspapers.
They were suddenly all full of Global Warming 10 years or so ago. It was something we had to do something about. But I couldn’t see what the fuss was about. I hadn’t noticed any global warming. I was wearing just as many clothes as I used to wear. And I had just as many blankets on my bed.
And then, overnight, Global Warming turned into Climate Change. And the entire mainstream media started talking about that instead.
And at the same time that they were all screaming about Global Warming and Climate Change, they were saying nothing at all about the smoking ban which I thought was the biggest change that I’d seen in my entire life. On 1 July 2007, the BBC reported the smoking ban that came into force that day as the 5th or 6th item in the news. It reported it as a non-event. And it had one or two people saying that they welcomed it, or didn’t much mind it.
But I minded. And over 10 years later, I still mind.
So they were talking a lot about something that didn’t interest me. And they were not talking about something that very much did interest me. What was the point to watching TV or reading newspapers, if they weren’t discussing what mattered to me? Or were discussing things that didn’t matter to me? So I stopped watching. It’s not worth paying £155/year to watch it.
I think the days of the mainstream media are numbered. I think the internet is becoming the place where news gets distributed, and matters discussed. I think that, with our mobile phones, we’re all becoming reporters and cameramen. We’re all becoming reporters and cameramen and pundits and opinion-shapers. And my blog is my personal newspaper, in which I say what I think. And I read a few other people’s personal newspapers.
Even Donald Trump has got his own personal newpaper. He uses Twitter. It allows him to express his own opinion to millions of people without going through the mainstream media.
He met up with Vladimir Putin a couple of days back. And apparently, according to reports about it on CNN, he may as well have sold out America’s latest jet fighter designs to Russia.
I didn’t watch CNN. But I saw some video showing Trump meeting Putin and shaking hands with him. He was wearing one of his red ties. They’re the ones he wears to tell the world he means business. And the main thing I noticed in the clip was that he gave Putin a big wink. A big collusive wink. It was probably just before he passed Putin the jet fighter designs, and Putin said, “We’ve already got these designs. Haven’t you got something better? Like a submarine design or a golf course design or something?”
Anyway, it was the big wink that I noticed. I’m surprised that hardly anyone else has mentioned it. CNN don’t seem to have mentioned it. Although I don’t know if they did or not, because I don’t watch them. I only heard from somewhere else that people like James Comey and John Brennan have been accusing Trump of collusion and treason. Because it seems that Comey and Brennan use Twitter almost as much as everyone else. Because everybody uses Twitter these days.
I get my news from all sorts of places. I get it from comments on my blog. Or other people’s blogs. I get it from hundreds of ever-changing sources.
One place I don’t get it from is the BBC. I never watch the BBC. And recently I’ve noticed that the BBC wants me to register to read their online news. I don’t want to register to read their news, when I can get it free elsewhere. If they want me to register to read their website, it’s most likely that they want to entrap me into watching something on video. And then demand £155 from me.
So these days I actively avoid the BBC. Isn’t it rather wonderful, that I live in the UK, and I block my ears to everything the UK’s state broadcaster says?
Perhaps I should write to the BBC and ask them whether they’ve been reading my blog. Perhaps I should tell them that I need to know whether they’ve been reading my blog. And it’ll only take them a few minutes to let me know. And if they admit that they do very occasionally read my blog, I could hit them with a demand for a £155 licence fee. Why not? It would be tit for tat.