I was pleased to add my name to the successful amendment in the Deregulation Bill to decriminalise non-payment of the television license fee and to add support to my colleague, Andrew Bridgen, who has led the campaign in Parliament.
In this day and age, a tax on the ownership of a television is a completely outdated concept that totally fails to take into account changes in the media environment over the past fifty years. Added to this are the enormous changes in how media is consumed that have taken place in just the last decade.
The BBC as an organisation has become too big, too badly designed and consistently badly managed. Over-promoted television producers, it turns out, cannot run a large organisation efficiently or effectively. Who would have guessed?
The BBC is an organisation that suppressed women by promoting only men and nurtured a climate of bullying in the workplace, as revealed by Select Committee reports. BBC managers deliberately concealed the antics of a paedophile and sex offender, practice blatant political bias and I have lost count of the number of times their journalists have misrepresented events.
Fresh revelations have highlighted all that is wrong about this bloated organisation. On the one hand they are persecuting single parents and the elderly who have found themselves unable to pay the license fee, while on the other hand BBC executives conspire to cover up a culture of sexual abuse.
While I think the BBC’s ‘national treasure’ status has been overblown (not least by their own spinning), I do enjoy a great deal of their output and I know the same is true for almost all my constituents. I do not see that this needs to change.
The non-payment of utility bills is a civil matter and nobody claims that water, electricity or gas will fail to be delivered because of the minority of people who will not or cannot pay their bills. The BBC is attempting to justify enforcement procedures using this excuse to hound people through the courts and all the way to jail.
The model of the BBC, which is in effect state run television, is outdated in this modern world of media and communication. Such a structure of payment and aggressive persecution would be more in keeping in a soviet style country.
It would appear that there is no politician in any party brave enough to take on the BBC for fear of retribution and punishment via its political reporting - in the same way as is practiced by newspapers against individual politicians who dare to challenge or criticise them.
Therefore, what has been achieved means the people can now take charge. When it comes to the BBC, it is time for people to take power where politicians have consistently failed.