Tuesday, 1 April 2014


The BBC has admitted to paying out £100,000 to people who have been bullied and harassed for not having a tv licence, when in fact either they did have one, or indeed they didn't need one.

I can sympathise with these folk. For years I didn't have a tv. I never watch programmes and I decided that there was no point in cluttering the corner of the living room with something I didn't use. But of course the BBC licencing people didn't believe me and I got letter after letter telling me that they were coming to get me. To begin with of course, I thought it was a genuine mistake and so I wrote back to them telling them I didn't have a set.

They ignored that and sent me another letter, a bit more threatening, so I wrote back explaining that I'd already explained myself in a previous letter, but in case they didn't speak any English I had written the same letter again but this time in French.

And you guessed it. It didn't work either. They sent me a very stiff letter pointing out that they were now going to send someone to see me (scary stuff). 

So this time I wrote in Latin. 

I mean you can never tell in these days of high unemployment when you're going to run into a classicist ... even in a pit of a company like the outsourcing giant, Crapita.  But alas and alack, it appears that there was no one there who spoke a world of the ancient tongue, for the letters went on and on... ad infinitum, as it were.

In the end they seemed to have given up and I thought that the relationship was over. But then I got sick and had to have an operation. And when I got home I was a bit useless for a while and was persuaded to purchase a tv set to help fill the long days. Along with the television set, I took out a direct debit to pay the licence fee.

And you'll never guess what happened. OK, I underestimated you. You will.

Despite the fact that Crapita started to take £12 a month from my bank account and provided me with a piece of paper to say that they were doing so (I believe it is called a television licence) they had obviously missed our poly-glottal correspondence for started it up again, just like we'd never fallen out... and it continues to this day, bless them. We're on to Thai now.

Frankly, I'd not mind a few pounds out of their compensation fund for my own troubles. Writing letters in dead languages isn't altogether easy.

But they appear to have other, more deserving causes for our hard-earned cash in the form of their late and very much overpaid director general, Mark Thomson. They have, it appears, allocated the princely sum of £20,000 from licence payers' money to pay for a portrait of the man to be hung in Broadcasting House.

I'm not entirely sure how that is going to benefit the viewers or listeners in any way at all. Are you? On the other hand it would seem about the right level of compensation for all my troubles.


  1. Boothman's Bullshitting Corruption in Scotland brought to you courtesy of the Labour party

    1. Outsourced to Capita

  2. Replies
    1. They're all there...

      Wee Willie Pain, who must have heard that the SNP was voting against it... Tom Harris, I'm surprised he doesn't vote for there to be no benefits at all... The Chair Chube who doesn't need any benefits, being on over £100,000 a year... Jim the Hood, who even if everybody in Scotland was to be better off would still vote for his own fat cat salary...Stairheid, who doesn't want to be thrown out of Wastemontersuntil she's had her turn in the trough... Damn Ann Begg, who clearly wants to see other people having to beg.. (really surprised at her).

      They are truly traitors to the people who gave them their inflated salary jobs. Distasteful people. I'm gload my life doesn't involve me in ever meeting any of them, or being in the same room as them.

      I don't really mind Tories being heartless bastards. You pays your money and you takes you choice. If you vote Tory, you know what you are going to get. But Labour voting against a hand up for working poor who are being exploited by their employers on one hand, and rich fat cat landlords on the other.

      Beneath contempt.

    2. There is one person missing from the list of Labour's Dirty Thirty Tris. Oh wait a minute he isn't missing. How can he be missing if he almost never turns up to vote on anything at all. I mean of course big THUMPER himself, the clunking fist that is Gordon Brown. I guess he had something better to do like counting all the *ahem* unspent millions in the *ahem* charity that he and his wife run. Still it gives him a get out of jail free card. He can rightfully say that he did not vote with the Tories on this dreadful bill. Unfortunately for his constituents he can NOT say he voted against it either!

  3. I have a question, and I'm not sure where to go to get an answer:

    Why is everyone assuming that the stuff docked at Faslane (in Scotland) would belong to Westminster if Scotland goes independant?

    Surely it would be similar to the other UK assets in Scotland? If it's in Scotland in March 2016, it belongs to Scotland.

    1. That's a reasonable point.

      I think they would take the view that it belongs to HM government (although in reality most of it belongs to America).

      But then there are treaties about the ownership of nuclear weapons, and I guess they have assumed, or had confirmation that America would demand that they were the property of a London government, which is to put it mildly, compliant with US demands, as opposed to a Scottish government which has already made it clear to the American Senate that it holds no sway in Scotland. (Salmond being summoned by the Senate to appear before them and replying that if they wish to interview him they should contact his office and make an appointment to see him at Bute House.)

    2. But pardon me Anon. I know you were looking for somewhere to get an authoritative answer, rather than my ramblings. I imagine a letter to the MoD?

      Anyone got other suggestions?

    3. My understanding is that it depends on whether Scotland and the rUK are to be joint successor states. If so, there is supposed to be a fair division of assets and liabilities. Scotland would not want any share of nuclear submarines, nuclear weapons, or aircraft carriers, and would presumably receive something else in return for its share of these - perhaps an additional frigate or a reduction in the Scottish contribution towards servicing the UK national debt.

      If the rUK insists on being the sole continuator state, then only those assets actually within Scottish territory on Independence Day would be Scottish, and I think that one could guarantee that all the UK's nuclear submarines will be well outside Scottish waters on that day. Indeed, probably every RN vessel, every RAF aircraft and what little military hardware is currently based in Scotland will be elsewhere by then. However, with no national debt, we should be easily afford to replace these with whatever the Scottish Defence Force will need.

    4. But the entire UK military currently belongs to "HM government" yet we're going to get our share of it in 2016.

      Our share has to be based on facility location, as anything else doesn't make any sense. We're getting the base at Faslane, so it would be ludecrous to assume that we wouldn't get the vehicles parked there and ammo stored there. This isn't West Germany, and Westminster isn't Washinton.

      I wouldn't expect the MoD to reply usefully to any questions along these lines from me, they'll just cite "national security" and put me on a watch-list that will fuck up my life. (Hence the anon posting, it's enough to make it unlikely that they'll go to the effort, my IP address isn't going to ID me)

      Maybe if we get this into people's minds as an actual question, rather than something they assume is going to go Westminster's way, we might get a public figure to ask the question. Maybe Patrick Harvie would be up for it?

    5. @lescunningham: "I think that one could guarantee that all the UK's nuclear submarines will be well outside Scottish waters on that day."

      That's my point, if we go independant, and Trident is still stationed at Faslane, then surely Trident belongs to Scotland. If Trident isn't docked at Faslane when we go independant, then it's highly unlikely we'd let it back in.

      Either way, *Westminster* can't have Trident stationed at Faslane after Scotland goes independant, so why is everyone assuming that they will?

    6. I think the Scottish government, whether it is Labour or SNP or some coalition, would be inclined to take a reasonable view on the removal of the submarines. They need to dock somewhere and I think the world would see Scotland as petty if we said. OUT on independence day.

      Clearly if we expect them to take a reasonable tone with us, we must with them. We may hate these weapons, but a new dock isn't built overnight, and they have to dock somewhere.

      The MoD may say that there are no contingency plans for a dockyard out of Scotland, because independence isn't going to happen, but that's got to be rubbish.

      They must have secret plans drawn up, if only because Washington will have told them to.

      I suspect that, dependent on the American government at the time, if may be that America will take the subs back (they pretty much belong to them anyway) the Brits will be encouraged to use the money they save by getting troops on the ground. (Cannon fodder.)

      Eric Joyce wrote something about this the other day.

      Patrick Harvie's views on it would be useful. He certainly has the ability to question the MoD, whether they will tell him anything, I don't know. They didn't even tell the government when they were spilling radio activity all over the place.

    7. 18 months to sort out where to put them doesn't seem unreasonable at all to me.

      Or they could let Scotland have them.

      I don't see any other options for them, if they stay stationed in Scotland then they belong to Scotland. Same as anything else.

    8. EBay...or you can sell through Amazon now...

  4. "ad infinitum, as it were."

    LoL - in the original sense not Cameron's!

    To infinity and beyond as Buzz Lightyear might say.

    1. PP... nothing on here is ever in the sense of Cameron... :)

  5. Credo quia absurdum est.

    Conanus Bibliothecarius.

    1. LOL ... Me too, Conan(us)

  6. As I've said elsewhere tell them you have no TV and no intentions of getting one. Tell them the licence is overpriced and TV is not worth watching. Tell them you have better things to do with your time (I mentioned watching grass grow and paint drying as better options). Tell them you consider their continued letters harassment, and will contact a solicitor to see what legal action can be taken against them if they do not stop. It worked for me.

    1. Yep. I'm much encouraged by the results people are getting.

      Apparently the courts in England seem to spend an enormous amount of time and money on this travesty.

      Thanks Anon...

  7. Bloody BBC, chasing people for a licence fee you didn't ask for,if you don't want people watching then encode your shitty programmes, oh and stop giving golden goodbyes to nonity staff such as Mr Entwhistle who let with a shed load of licence payers cash.

    Other news to raise your blood pressure. Ed Miliband is accusing Alex Salmond of being in the pockets of the big six energy firms,even though when Labour were last in power energy bills rose by 60%, and Ed Miliband was energy minster and did absolutely nothing to help the public.

    Alistair Darling has come and said securing a no vote will be the pinnacle of his career. Darling was visiting White House products in Port Glasgow who employ 22 people, the company said if Scots vote yes they're moving their business down south.

    Poverty levels in Labour constituencies.

    Willie Bain Labour MP 43%

    Anas Sarwar Labour MP 37%

    Margaret Curran Labour MP 35%

    All three MP's voted last week to increase child poverty in Scotland,by backing a cap on welfare. Ed Miliband ordered Labour MP's to back the governments capon welfare,Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls even boasted the welfare cap was his idea.

    Vince Cable refused to apologise for under selling Royal Mail shares by over a billion pounds, as figures were released by the ONS (Office of National Statistics), the ONS has said Mr Cable had cost the taxpayer over a billions pounds in lost revenue. An inside source has said city spivs and gamblers on Royal Mail shares had made an absolute fortune at the taxpayers expense, and they must be laughing all the way to the bank.

    1. I wonder if White House products actually means to go to the enormous expense of moving to a country, recruiting replacements for the staff who don't want to go, paying resettlement fees for those who do, and redundancy for those who don't, disrupting production, in order to pay higher corporation tax?

      Sounds like some huffy old soul... say someone like that has been magician, Paul, not a lot Daniels.

    2. Willie Bain is so busy making sure that he says the exact opposite of what the SNP says that he votes for the working poor's social security to be cut, whilst not mentioning rent controls and living wages... All because it is the diametric opposite of what the SNP wants.

      What a charlie he is.

    3. On AS being in the pockets of the big six energycompanies - I thought energy wan NOT devolved. Am I wrong?

    4. Yea, I don't know where that came from... the same fairy story grotto as that MP wally getting his office building vandalised with a sticker, which he had removed before anyone else saw it...

      I really don't think Alex, for all his faults, is in anyone's pocket.

      Ed Miliband is just a desperate little man, seeing his one big chance disappear. He'll have to be removed as leader of the Labour Party without ever making it to the right hand of the President... and his brother will be laughing like a drain.

  8. Tris, I get a demanding letter from them in red ink on official looking brown envelopes a couple of times a month addreesed to someone called "The Occupier." As nobody of that name lives here they go straight in the blue bin.

    I last got a visit from them a couple of years ago - told them politely to fuck off as I had no wish to talk to them and instructed them to leave my garden.

    PS -OT

    I saw this design after following a link provided by Conan on another blog, I would wear the T-shirt - All Hail Che Salmond!


    1. They seem to be as competent as the other giant out sourcing companies.

      The trouble is that, when you get 100+ tv channels for free, it is just not on to be forced to pay for 5 or 6 channels that you never watch.

      It was an idea that had its day but died with multi-channel broadcasting.

      If you add to that the fact that they aren't any better than the rest of the "free" channels, it's even more ridiculous.

      With a government that is determined to sell off everything except (so far) the air (probably because it's so polluted that no one would buy it), you have to wonder why the commercially saleable parts of the BBC aren't farmed off.

      Must be something about wanting to control news stories with threats of licence fee reductions...

      Funny T-shirt!!

  9. There is a certain sort of ego, one shared with, perhaps Simon Cowell, that one is worthy of being oiled or acryllicised or whatever.

    It is a conceit of the rich that their portraiture is just the thing to inform future generations.

    How often have you looked at a picture of a notable worthy, aka a lying bastard, and said to yourself:

    Who him?

    I have not a scooby who most of the people are who have statues in George Square. Pehaps they were good, perhaps they were not.

    They are nonentities buried in the mists of time. I know not of them, nor they me. In any event they seem bit players in the tide of history.

    Raising a statue to someone can be an act of honour, too often it is an act of sychophancy, especially in the Victorian era.

    Where is Mel Gibson amongst that Pantheon? Nowhere to be seen.

    And that tells us an interesting truth.

    We are not about the people about statues, we are about a living a vibrant thread of modern Scottish thought.

    We are not the people on the plinth, we are new and not cast in stone, nor marble nor bronze..

    We are better than that.

    1. Good points Douglas.

      As for the statuary, it seems in Dundee, to be somewhere for the pigeons to relieve themselves.

      And paintings... yes, what conceit.

      In this day, if they have to have their image all over the place, what on earth is wrong with a selfie. After all we are always being told, us low life, that we must move with the times and things cannot go on the way they used to be ... you know... things like pensions, healthcare, social security

      Strange that tradition needs to be kept for the "great" and "good".

  10. That's interesting, CH...

  11. Acetech is a Web Designer expert, providing Software Development Services Delhi, Cheap SEO Services, Web Development Services and lot more

  12. It was an idea that had its day but died with multi-channel broadcasting.
    If you add to that the fact that they aren't any better than the rest of the "free" channels, it's even more ridiculous. website design company bangladesh