From our Swindon Correspondent:
From the Daily Mirror
Mr Davie said: “If you are a law-abiding, paying customer and licence fee payer, what I am trying to do is get you the most value for money, and the decriminalisation proposal, frankly in my mind, just doesn’t pass the logic test.”
He said the numbers of people going to prison were “remarkably low” under the current system.
Mr Davie added: “If you look at civil systems, the fines are higher, the bailiffs arrive at the door. The system just is not good.
But setting aside the moral wickedness, this is a smart move by someone who really wants to hurt the BBC. Because unlike the electricity bill or a DFS sofa, payment is not inevitable. If you’re willing to break the law and lie, the BBC probably won’t catch you. “nope, no TV here, and no, you can’t come into my property without a warrant”. Previously, you risked prison for that if you couldn’t cough up. Now, it’s a fine, fees, maybe you lose a little property, repay a debt over a period of some months. It doesn’t have quite the same penalty if the risk doesn’t work out.
It’s a smart move by someone in government who wants to destroy the BBC. Cummings, maybe? Almost impossible for the BBC fans to oppose, but lots of poorer households will take the risk. And that’s going to mean a lot of money lost from BBC revenue.