Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

The BBC: An Orwellian Nightmare


Recently, we moved home. I advised all the utilities and services by phone or online. I did so well in advance, so that no last minute hitch would add to a naturally stressful time. Everything worked perfectly, except the TV licence. At first, I was encouraged by what seemed an easy notification system. "Advise us three months before you move" the web site claimed. The online form was simple enough until I got a message telling me that, because I'm over 75, I had to phone them. Interminable messages (repeated) and bad music (repeated) until finally, I got through to a customer services person. "You have to phone the day you move" she told me. The obvious explanation that I would have other things to do, cut no ice. "That's the rule" she told me polity, but firmly. And so. I wrote to them and began a saga that ultimately involved my new MP and a startling revelation.

There is a modern variant of the ancient saying: "Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad". It is, "Those whom the left wish to destroy they make pay for their own destruction". Its most powerful proponent and propagandist is the BBC.

My letter got the response that they had updated my details. Not satisfied, I made a formal complaint of age discrimination under The Equality Act 2010. In reply they explained that it was "A system constraint and is not against the Equality Act 2010". They referenced the PayGo 75+ system to justify this. Now begins a journey into the world of BBC double-think. I have searched the BBC and TV Licensing web sites for PayGo 75+, it does not exist. Pay as you Go does exist, but it is available to everyone and, of course the licence fee is the same for everyone irrespective of age. I also pointed out that as they controlled the system it was a simple task to alter it.

At this point, it is worth considering the 2016 renewal of the BBC's Royal Charter. On 26 July 2015, the BBC carried a story on its news web site headlined: " BBC to fund over-75s' TV licences". The agreement was that in exchange for this the BBC got its Charter renewed. It was also agreed that they could charge for the iPlayer and the license fee would rise with inflation. Welcoming the deal, BBC director general Tony Hall said: "Far from being a cut, the way this financial settlement is shaped gives us, effectively, flat licence fee income across the first five years of the next charter."

Writing in the Spectator, June 2019, Toby Young observed that, despite three rises in the fee the BBC had decided not to honour the agreement. A spokesperson told him, "The BBC 'took responsibility for the policy of providing TV licences to the over-75s, and that didn't mean agreeing to pay for it". This blatant example of the Ministry of Truth in action is, but the tip of the iceberg. As George Orwell wrote in 1984, "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth".

Not satisfied with the answer to my letter, I wrote again as did my MP Adam Holloway. The responses shocked me. Firstly, as is always the case with failed organisation, junior staff were blamed for not being clear enough or following rules. Secondly, it was no longer a system constraint (I assume my point about their responsibility for the system was taken).

They wrote: "As the system functionality is the same for all customers with a PayGo licence, I can confirm that this does not amount to less favourable treatment as all customers within this cohort are treated in the same way". It is the BBC's view that, provided everyone in a specified cohort is treated in the same way, there is no discrimination. I'm not aware that that argument was used at the Nürnberg trials. I doubt it would find support for those persecuted in various countries for example the Rohingya, Yazidi and Afghani women, all identifiably a cohort. Was this the basis for the BBC ignoring the Equalities Act for overt 40 years and discriminating against their own cohort of female presenters?

Demonstrating their utter contempt for any who disagree, they offered me £20.00. It will be returned. Money is not the point. The cheque came from their out-sourcing company Capita. Capita are the administrators and enforcers of the license system. The licence is the only utility bill for which non payment is a criminal offence. Capita's enforcers are instructed to issue a verbal warning on the lines of: "You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence".

On top of their £60 million fee, Capita were given an extra £38 million when the BBC reneged on its agreement. The money was used in part to hire 800 more enforcers, presumably, to go after the OAP cohort.

The BBC has become a malign cancer eating away at the fabric of our society. It has lost its moral compass and seems intent on reshaping society according to its own far left opinions. It has adopted the party slogan from 1984. "Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing".

The BBC's power rests on its charter and funding model. Both are in the gift of the government. It is time that the government acted to bring an end to what has become a destructive, immoral fifth column undermining those of good will seeking a better future for all. 

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Tel: 020 7287 4414
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The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
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Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
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