But then I got this in the post:
For those of you not in the UK; over here we have to pay a TV licence fee. It's about £140 a year, I think. This fee goes towards mainly the BBC so that they can produce really good programmes, which they do! I have no problem with the licence fee itself, I think a public funded BBC is fantastic.
But the thing I have a problem with is the fact that I don't have TV in my room and therefore do not have to pay.
As a result of this I regularly get angry, rude and threatening letters that refer to me simply as "The legal occupier of Flat 74.2".
Let me recount to you a lovely extract from the letter I have received.
"Now that enforcement officers have been scheduled to visit student addresses in your area, you should know what to expect in the event that you are prosecuted for using TV without a licence."
"... in the event that you are prosecuted", If that doesn't imply that I AM going to have the full force of the law thrown at me regardless as to whether I watch television in my flat or not then I don't know what does.
It goes on to tell me what will happen if they prosecute me, including what will happen when I go to court, the inevitable fine etc.
I have had this the past two years as I have lived without a television, constant threatening letters from the council that, quite honestly, verge on spam.
The most annoying aspect is that I am a law abiding citizen, I have done nothing wrong, but I am being talked to as if "you haven't payed your TV licence, therefore you MUST be watching a TV illegally, you are therefore a criminal."
If this is a tactic of them to try and get people to pay then quite frankly I think it is disgusting. I can imagine the amount of people who pay the fee just to stop the letters (there is a phone number they offer but I am not wasting my phone bill on them).
I think the BBC and even the licence fee are a good thing. The BBC is one of the things in this country we can be really proud of and I would be happy to fund it. But this makes me resent paying (when I eventually have to) and therefore resent the fee and in turn the BBC.
If you want people to pay show them how fucking amazing the BBC is; how their money contributes to the best broadcasting group in the world, make them feel a part of it and therefore proud of it.
This seems to be a recurring theme recently on this blog but Gordon Brown is like a broken record when it comes to talking about the elusiveness of "Britishness". Well no wonder we have this problem, of the corporations that represent us, are choosing to alienate us rather than make us feel included.
I am a law abiding citizen, stop making me feel like a criminal.