Charles Moore

I’ve come up with the perfect way to deal with TV Licensing officers

I've come up with the perfect way to deal with TV Licensing officers
Text settings

Faithful readers of this column will know that I do not have a television licence for my flat in London, because I do not have a television. As a result, I receive a couple of letters a month demanding that I prove my innocence, which I never answer because I do not see why I should. Indeed, they normally remain unopened.

This week, however, I received one in a window envelope. Through the window, I could see the calendar for November and the 24th of the month circled in red. ‘We’re giving you ten days to get correctly licensed’, it said, and implied that if I did not do so it would send an ‘Enforcement Officer’ after me to start a ‘full investigation’. Such messages are wrong, and may be well be illegal. TV Licensing is not a public authority, and therefore has no power of enforcement, so Steve Latham, the enforcement manager, who sent the letter, is falsely titled.

It also libels all bona fide non-television owners to whom it sends this message because it implies we are cheats. I think I shall invent an authority called something like ‘Keeping Kids Safe’, and write to Mr Latham saying that he has ten days to prove he is not a paedophile. If we do not hear from him, we shall send Tom Watson MP to break his door down.

This is an extract from Charles Moore's Notes. The full article can be found here

Join us for a Spectator debate on 18 November at Church House, Westminster – Is the BBC really a national treasure? Speakers include Melvyn Bragg and James Purnell, director of strategy and digital at the BBC. Chaired by Andrew Neil. Click here for more information and to book tickets.