Cancel Your TV Licence Today

There has never been a better time to cancel your BBC TV Licence. But time may be running out for you to make a lawful protest against the tyranny of the BBC TV Licence fee tax…
Jeremy-Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson: Freedom to Fracas?

With every new scandal, twist and turn of the state broadcaster comes further evidence that this organisation is corrupt, wasteful and does not serve the interests of those who pay for it. The most recent controversy was the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson after a bizarrely described ‘fracas’ between himself and an assistant producer. Over ONE MILLION people signed the @GuidoFawkes #BringBackClarkson petition to reinstate Clarkson.

For the record I did not sign this petition. I simply do not see a role for a state propaganda machine in 2015 or beyond. Certainly I do not support that you should hand over your hard earned money on threat of prison for state permission to watch mainstream entertainment on a dying technological medium.

One thing is absolutely clear from the Clarkson sacking fiasco: the viewer is way down the pecking order as far as the BBC top brass is concerned. Top Gear was immediately pulled from the schedules on news of the ‘fracas’. This was well before any formal finding was made against Clarkson which shows the contempt the BBC Top Brass had for the fans.

I of course recognise that the BBC Top Gear show with Clarkson as the lead host was immensely popular with its fans. I read many responses on twitter that questioned ‘Why am I paying a licence fee if Top Gear is taken off the air’. Unfortunately, the TV Licence does not operate as a subscription service much as BBC would like you to think it does. Even if the BBC did not exist unless the TV Licence legislation was repealed, you would still have to pay the TV Licence fee to watch or record ANY live TV. As such, the TV Licence operates as a TAX. As a tax, the TV Licence is not a payment for any BBC service.

Quite simply, the TV Licence has survived at least half a century beyond its use-by date. There is no technological reason for it to exist today and it is merely an accident of history that it remains. So if you want to make the best protest you can against the BBC, the only way to do it is to STOP FUNDING THEM. You can do this legally and it takes only minutes to sort out.

There are several strategies that the legally licence free community recommend. Firstly I advocate you to stay within the law at all times. There is as yet no reason for anyone to break the law to protest against the BBC licence fee. All that is involved is some minor inconvenience of only watching catch-up tv services after they have been broadcast on TV.

There are the three simple rules to ensure you stay within the law and that the BBC’s TV Licensing arm cannot bring a successful action against you in court:
Rule 1. Detune your TVs and disconnect any aerials or satellite feeds and cut or tape up the ends. (This is to satisfy the requirement that TV Receivers must not be installed)
Rule 2. DO NOT watch or record ANY LIVE TV on ANY device for ANY reason. (You may watch Catch-Up TV services after they have been shown on TV)
Rule 3. At all times NEVER ADMIT to any TV Licensing representative that you have watched or recorded ANY LIVE TV on ANY device for ANY reason. Also NEVER ADMIT TO WATCHING ANY INTERNET STREAMING BROADCAST as it is also shown on TV. This can be SKY NEWS or AL-JAZZERRA originally beamed from Doha. Note this is not restricted to just BBC as some mistakenly believe. Only ever say you watch DVD’s/Netflix etc and Catch-Up TV only.

Mindful of the above rules your next steps are:
1. You must, absolutely must, CANCEL any TV licence you have. TV Licensing (aka Capita) assume (wrongly) you still need one if you don’t inform them you are cancelling your TV Licence. You can do this by email to support@tvlicensing.co.uk (Note they take a long time to respond: up to a week. Recent reports are as many as 1000 people a day are cancelling TV Licences. Be patient and do not pre-empt additional unnecessary communication with the Capita contractor).
2. Cancel any direct debits you have to TV Licensing.
3. Optionally you can declare a “No Licence Needed”. Ideally you should have no further contact with any TV Licensing representative (Capita). The link to the “No Licence Needed” declaration is here.

There are some further pointers to observe to ensure you stay safe from prosecution:
1. TV Licensing have no right of access to your property whatsoever except by a search warrant.
2. There is no legal obligation for you to have contact with them or provide them with any information except under a search warrant to provide ‘reasonable assistance’ to enable them to do their test of any TV receiving equipment found.
3. Most importantly: Get yourself informed. A thoughtful, reasoned stand against the BBC does take a bit of effort. Take the time to understand TV Licensing law. Here are some excellent blogs run by well informed people I throughly recommend:

TV Licensing Blog
TV Licensing Resistance
TV Licensing Watch

The sad truth is TV Licensing is run as a high-pressure commission-based sales operation. It is a dirty business. Invariably, TV Licensing only convict on evidence you provide by way of an admission. Unless the TV is visibly on in the front room, there is no reason for you to provide them with any evidence against yourself whatsoever. Oh, the ‘TV detector’ is a crock: It has NEVER been used as evidence for any court conviction of watching live TV. It is only used to gather ‘evidence’ for a search warrant and even that is done on the shakiest of scientific basis.

A word of warning. In looking around the Internet you may come across “Freeman of The Land” (FMOTL) type arguments. They all boil down to essentially a concept of individual choice, contract, consent and a misunderstanding of common law. While I have sympathy with such purist thinking, FMOTL arguments only make for impressive YouTube videos. They absolutely DO NOT WORK at your local friendly Magistrates Courts or indeed in any court up to and including the Supreme Court. Parliament made law is accepted by all courts in the UK. Sorry about that.

I said at the outset that time for you to make a lawful protest against the BBC was running out. Indeed it is. The influential Department of Culture Media and Sport Select Commitee’s preferred future funding model for the BBC is to introduce a flat household poll tax to be added to everyone’s council tax regardless of whether they watch any BBC service or TV or radio at all. If this was introduced, there would be virtually NO escape from paying this charge. The enormity of this proposal is truly staggering given the litany of scandal that has come out about the BBC. But for right now the choice is still yours. Take back your choice and your money. There has never been a better time to cancel your TV Licence. Do it today!

Originally written for the @backbencher 25th March 2015 – Revised 17th May 2015

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11 thoughts on “Cancel Your TV Licence Today

  1. Rik H. says:

    Silence Is Golden: Never a truer word spoken when it comes to TV Licensing, the less communication with them, the better. Never sign anything either as a signature on the wrong piece of paper will condemn you. I don’t watch TV, I don’t even own a TV. I don’t bother with catch up TV either. I quite happily live without it and have always found ways to keep myself occupied. If I can, anyone can.

  2. Shaun says:

    Another point worth mentioning particularly in regard to making allegations of licence evasion a civil. rather than a criminal matter. there are fewer constraints on the penalties that can be levied against a persion found”liable” in addition the rules of evidence are less strict in comparison to criminal law.. in a civil case the BBC will find itself in the very powerfull p osition of being able to sue for “potential loss of revenue” and will not need to provide concrete evidence to suport its claim. it will be enough to cite “substantial probability” even worse, under the rules of hearsay evidence it is conceivable that a case can be braught against an individual on the basis that joe bloggs next door” swears he saw jane watching such and such” this may well be an over simplification of the differences between criminal v civil matters but civil litigation will be open to far greater abuse by the BBC and its cohorts.

    • Hi Darren – I really only do this as a hobby so I’m ok with the wordpress free blog. Are you hosting it on your home server or are you paying for hosting?

  3. Darren says:

    I have business hosting on a number of domains I own so it’s practically free to host it. You’re welcome to use it. No charge. And it’s a direct domain, so no blog address. It’ll be here for 2 years if you want to up the ante… thanks.

      • Shaun says:

        interesting case especially as the court asserts that his video evidence was deemed” not relevant to the case” it shows that the licence fee is payable regardless of whether the BBC fund terrorism or not in the eyes of the court, and if so, then we must assume that the court syystem itself, is by definition and example. in breach of s15 of the terrorism act 2000 in that the defendant was not given the opportunity to proove his case adequately such is the gullability (?) of magistrates its why that route is taken because magistrates do not have the same degree of training as, say, a county court Judge..and as for justices of the peace!! unless things have changed since i laast looked they can be selected on the bases of “good standing” in the community and need not necessarily be legally trained( they are usually assisted by qualidied legal advisors)

      • The offence of TV Licence evasion is ‘strict liability’ (high court ruling) which means that if you admit to watching live TV without a licence there is no legal defence.

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