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Old 11th June 2019, 03:22 PM   #1
Vixen
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Should the Over-75's continue to get a free TV Licence?

There has been an outcry over BBC plans - as from next summer 2020 - to scrap the blanket free tv licence fee for the over-75's.

Quote:
From next summer, only households where at least one person receives pension credit - around 900,000 currently - will not have to pay.

But two fifths of people who are entitled to this benefit aren't getting it, according to charity AgeUK.

Some don't know they can claim, many struggle to apply and even more feel embarrassed about needing help, it added.

Last night, Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "very disappointed" with the decision to scrap the free licenses and demanded the BBC to rethink the call.
It was originally introduced by Labour with the government funding it. The Conservative government demanded the BBC should subsidise it, so it is a bit rich Theresa May claiming to be 'disappointed' when her government reneged on supporting it in the first place.

Pensioners will now have to be means tested if they want a free licence. They have to be in receipt of a 'pension credit'. This means if their state pension is less than the current £168 pw with no other income and savings of less than £15K they can be paid the difference between what they are getting and £168. Personally I don't see how anyone can get by on such a paltry sum

Even those with annuities or drawdown accounts might struggle. However, those who retired back in the day before the 2008 recession had a much better pension pot and often 'final salary' so those who retired between then and now will be the hardest hit, especially if they depend on television for their main entertainment.
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Old 11th June 2019, 08:30 PM   #2
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Considering the quality of television programming nowadays, I should think people would be willing to pay more not to have a licence.
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Old 11th June 2019, 08:45 PM   #3
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Anything that keeps them off the roads is worth the cost.
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Old 11th June 2019, 09:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
There has been an outcry over BBC plans - as from next summer 2020 - to scrap the blanket free tv licence fee for the over-75's.



It was originally introduced by Labour with the government funding it. The Conservative government demanded the BBC should subsidise it, so it is a bit rich Theresa May claiming to be 'disappointed' when her government reneged on supporting it in the first place.

Pensioners will now have to be means tested if they want a free licence. They have to be in receipt of a 'pension credit'. This means if their state pension is less than the current £168 pw with no other income and savings of less than £15K they can be paid the difference between what they are getting and £168. Personally I don't see how anyone can get by on such a paltry sum

Even those with annuities or drawdown accounts might struggle. However, those who retired back in the day before the 2008 recession had a much better pension pot and often 'final salary' so those who retired between then and now will be the hardest hit, especially if they depend on television for their main entertainment.

What? Seriously, you still have television licences in the UK?
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Old 11th June 2019, 09:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What? Seriously, you still have television licences in the UK?
My thought as well.

To the OP, I have absolutely no problem with government support (like free licences) being means tested. We are used to this in Australia - people on government pensions get a lot of concessions, those who are well off, very little.
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Old 11th June 2019, 10:06 PM   #6
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I am opposed to welfare for rich folks. In London people over pension age also get free travel no matter what their wealth or income is. That can be worth a few thousand.

For similar reasons, abolishing or reducing tertiary education fees is a regressive idea.
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Old 11th June 2019, 10:10 PM   #7
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I shall be interested to know how the RNIB handles this. I have a gtelevision, but hardly ever turn it on.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What? Seriously, you still have television licences in the UK?
I had the same thought. But apparently it applies to watching any live broadcasts from any source on any kind of device, including computers and phones.
https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-...w-you-watch-it

And 154 pounds a year seems pretty steep.
https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-...and-costs-top2
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Old 12th June 2019, 12:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
And 154 pounds a year seems pretty steep.
https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-...and-costs-top2
Compared to what?
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Old 12th June 2019, 12:15 AM   #10
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I think we need a free 75 year with every TV. They can replace the remote control. It will save on batteries and keeps them employed and active in their later years.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What? Seriously, you still have television licences in the UK?
Yes, like most of Europe. The main difference is that the UK licence fee funds multiple advert-free channels.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
I am opposed to welfare for rich folks. In London people over pension age also get free travel no matter what their wealth or income is. That can be worth a few thousand.
Actually, you can have 60+ Oyster card - which has the functionality of a Freedom pass - from 60, subject to a small (£20) admin fee.

Yes, it can, "be worth a few thousand," the majority of users probably don't come anywhere close.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Yes, like most of Europe. The main difference is that the UK licence fee funds multiple advert-free channels.

For which, given the quality (and the apparent reading age of the target audience) of the few adverts I see, is a mercy.


(Seriously, how do people put up with them?)
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
I shall be interested to know how the RNIB handles this.
There's been no mention of any changes to the severely sight impaired concession for the blind, so presumably they don't have to do anything.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
For which, given the quality (and the apparent reading age of the target audience) of the few adverts I see, is a mercy.


(Seriously, how do people put up with them?)
Mrs Don and I bought a new "Smart" TV which unfortunately cannot connect to our old Humax PVR (the issue appears to be with the Humax box which does not want to connect via HDMI to any display we own - just our old TV ) which means that we now watch "on demand" instead of recording on the PVR.

This means that we cannot fast forward though the recorded adverts on the few Channel 4 or ITV shows we have watched. What makes it even worse is that the number of advertisers is very restricted so we end up watching the same adverts several times in a single one hour show .
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:23 AM   #16
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This is, of course, a typical case of Tory hypocrisy. They don't want to pay for something that was previously national government-funded, so manoeuvre someone else into being "responsible" for it, and then condemn them when they seek to obviate the massive cost.

My own belief is that if the government wants over-75s - whether some or all of them - to have free TV licences, then the government should be paying for them. If, on the other hand, they want to force the BBC to cover the cost, then the BBC should be able to decide where they are appropriate.

For example, it is the case now that any household with an 0ver-75 living there gets a free TV licence, regardless of however many people under 75 are also living there. It's not really fair that a family with working age adults get covered for free, just because they have an elderly relative living with them. There could, though, be a concession if it's a case of at least one person over 75 living with another or other over retirement age.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Mrs Don and I bought a new "Smart" TV which unfortunately cannot connect to our old Humax PVR (the issue appears to be with the Humax box which does not want to connect via HDMI to any display we own - just our old TV ) which means that we now watch "on demand" instead of recording on the PVR.
I would have thought a factory reset and then a new setup would cure that.

Quote:
This means that we cannot fast forward though the recorded adverts on the few Channel 4 or ITV shows we have watched. What makes it even worse is that the number of advertisers is very restricted so we end up watching the same adverts several times in a single one hour show .
We try to let the Tivo handle everything we want to watch, because I dislike on-demand generally due its temperamental nature. Channel 4's is particularly annoying if I want to record something to keep, as they invariably insist on enabling the copy-protection signal, which means I have to dig out and connect up the kit that strips it out.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What? Seriously, you still have television licences in the UK?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Televi...ound_the_world

Re-sorting that list to the "€ equiv per annum" column shows where the substantial licence fees are still enforced.

In the UK the fee pays for the BBC (except some goes to other public service broadcasting and the BBC earns something like a third of its income from overseas sales). The arrangement is supposed to stop the funding of the BBC becoming a political football and thereby prevent the BBC from becoming a de facto state broadcaster. If it was funded out of general taxation, the view is that direct political pressure would be unavoidable.

It's an anachronistic system that grew out of a legacy of incremental changes which each made a kind of sense at the time.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:01 AM   #19
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TV? What we used to do on the screens in the living room before internet with affordable bandwidth.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:05 AM   #20
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In general, I don't think that anybody should get anything for free simply by reaching a certain age.

Of course, there is some consideration that needs to be given to the ease of operating the system, and sometimes a blanket pass is easier than a complex admin process.

In this case, my gut says that there are plenty of people over 75 who are more than capable of paying for their TV licence, and giving it free to all those over 75 as a way of ensuring that those who really need the support are getting it just feels like it's a cop out. Tying it to existing means testing seems reasonable, though I think just limiting it to Pension Credit feels like setting the bar a little low.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:09 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
TV? What we used to do on the screens in the living room before internet with affordable bandwidth.
I suspect it's what most people are still doing. It's like people on media forums who say stuff like, "who buys DVDs these days?" when the fact that supermarkets are still selling them suggest lots are.

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Old 12th June 2019, 03:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
In general, I don't think that anybody should get anything for free simply by reaching a certain age.

Of course, there is some consideration that needs to be given to the ease of operating the system, and sometimes a blanket pass is easier than a complex admin process.

In this case, my gut says that there are plenty of people over 75 who are more than capable of paying for their TV licence, and giving it free to all those over 75 as a way of ensuring that those who really need the support are getting it just feels like it's a cop out. Tying it to existing means testing seems reasonable, though I think just limiting it to Pension Credit feels like setting the bar a little low.

Agreed, with a small (and probably irrelevant) caveat. As with everything like this, if it looks like the admin to strip out the unworthy is going to cost more than the savings made from restricting the payment then give it to everyone.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:11 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
In general, I don't think that anybody should get anything for free simply by reaching a certain age.

Of course, there is some consideration that needs to be given to the ease of operating the system, and sometimes a blanket pass is easier than a complex admin process.

In this case, my gut says that there are plenty of people over 75 who are more than capable of paying for their TV licence, and giving it free to all those over 75 as a way of ensuring that those who really need the support are getting it just feels like it's a cop out. Tying it to existing means testing seems reasonable, though I think just limiting it to Pension Credit feels like setting the bar a little low.
In general I don't think anybody should have to pay for a licence to own any device that either plays broadcasted or streamed video of any network, to pay for one particular networks up keep that they may not even watch
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
In general I don't think anybody should have to pay for a licence to own any device that either plays broadcasted or streamed video of any network, to pay for one particular networks up keep that they may not even watch
Why not? People don't get a choice about indirectly funding the channels with adverts, either.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
TV? What we used to do on the screens in the living room before internet with affordable bandwidth.
Things change. Before the TV licence, the BBC was funded by a radio license. Recently the BBC secured an update to the terms which mean you need a license to stream content from their iPlayer service and not just to watch or record live TV.

I almost bought a license for my iPlayer, Amazon and Netflix-addicted daughter's student flat but discovered at the last moment that since she only watches on an iPad, that counts as a portable TV so it's covered by my home license. Worth checking the small print. I *think* it also still covers one's domestic servants.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:27 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Why not? People don't get a choice about indirectly funding the channels with adverts, either.
Because given the quality of the product they could make just as much if not more from having adverts on their various platforms without the need to charge pensioners money to get to watch a bit of TV for the day.

It isn't 1970 anymore

Personally just always thought it might be getting time for the BBC to stand on its own merits.

But I do get it if there is a why try to fix a proven successful system, when there is no reason, to a degree.

ie "Don't try to fix what isn't broken"
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
In general I don't think anybody should have to pay for a licence to own any device that either plays broadcasted or streamed video of any network, to pay for one particular networks up keep that they may not even watch
Who pays for TVNZ?
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:34 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Who pays for TVNZ?
Part advertising, part general tax pool, of which most low income people don't actually pay anything when tax credits, housing allowance and working for families are taken into account.

None individuals paying to own a video playing device
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:35 AM   #29
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I like having a (theoretically) non political media entity that works for me. It means it's not feeding me propaganda on behalf of some politician that's threatening funding or feeding me bollocks about some product because it doesn't want to lose the advertising revenue.

Whether or not the BBC performs that function is up for debate, but given the scarcity of non-partisan news, I would be very happy for the BBC to receive more non-politicised funding.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:39 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I like having a (theoretically) non political media entity that works for me. It means it's not feeding me propaganda on behalf of some politician that's threatening funding or feeding me bollocks about some product because it doesn't want to lose the advertising revenue.

Whether or not the BBC performs that function is up for debate, but given the scarcity of non-partisan news, I would be very happy for the BBC to receive more non-politicised funding.
That is a good point


Don't get me wrong

To be frank, when it comes to quality of product I would agree the BBC is hands down still globally the top still (with certains caveates sometimes on political biases).

Just seems a slightly old school concept with the licence.

But then I live back here again now so no skin of my nose
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:47 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Because given the quality of the product they could make just as much if not more from having adverts on their various platforms without the need to charge pensioners money to get to watch a bit of TV for the day.
You do realise that there isn't an infinite pot of advertising revenue out there? If the BBC took adverts, not only would it piss off a lot of viewers, but it would also seriously cut into the funding of the commercial channels.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:51 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
You do realise that there isn't an infinite pot of advertising revenue out there? If the BBC took adverts, not only would it piss off a lot of viewers, but it would also seriously cut into the funding of the commercial channels.
Well obviously

But I doubt many of the audience don't watch other channels that have ads anymore, so it is hardly something they are not used to or can't get over having.

It is why you have hard drives to press fast forward
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:53 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
There has been an outcry over BBC plans - as from next summer 2020 - to scrap the blanket free tv licence fee for the over-75's.



It was originally introduced by Labour with the government funding it. The Conservative government demanded the BBC should subsidise it, so it is a bit rich Theresa May claiming to be 'disappointed' when her government reneged on supporting it in the first place.

Pensioners will now have to be means tested if they want a free licence. They have to be in receipt of a 'pension credit'. This means if their state pension is less than the current £168 pw with no other income and savings of less than £15K they can be paid the difference between what they are getting and £168. Personally I don't see how anyone can get by on such a paltry sum

Even those with annuities or drawdown accounts might struggle. However, those who retired back in the day before the 2008 recession had a much better pension pot and often 'final salary' so those who retired between then and now will be the hardest hit, especially if they depend on television for their main entertainment.
Where an oldster or a relative has the wherewithall, they should cease using terrestrial broadcasts and use smart TV streaming services. Yes, I know this would be a tall order for many, but a surprising number are IT literate and already have an internet connection.

You'll be surprised to learn that I'm among a growing number of people utterly disgusted by what the BBC has become over recent decades - it's now as much, or more of a corporate lie factory as any commercial organ of 'the Fourth Estate'. "Fair and balanced", my baby-smooth arse.

Most people are blissfully unaware of the fact that this corrupt hive hoovers up c. £4 billion per year from the UK public, which is beyond iniquitous. A further £1 billion is gained from sales (which is actually a dismall return on such a vast subsidy). It should have been razed years ago.

As to the OP's question; should over 75's be required to pay the BBC tax? Hell, no!
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:58 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Well obviously

But I doubt many of the audience don't watch other channels that have ads anymore, so it is hardly something they are not used to or can't get over having.
People are used to and know what to expect from the situation as it is now.

Quote:
It is why you have hard drives to press fast forward
People do still watch broadcasts in realtime, so that point is moot. People still generally only use PVRs for time-shifting, and of course who has one for every TV in the house?

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Old 12th June 2019, 04:07 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by IsThisTheLife View Post
Where an oldster or a relative has the wherewithall, they should cease using terrestrial broadcasts and use smart TV streaming services. Yes, I know this would be a tall order for many, but a surprising number are IT literate and already have an internet connection.

You'll be surprised to learn that I'm among a growing number of people utterly disgusted by what the BBC has become over recent decades - it's now as much, or more of a corporate lie factory as any commercial organ of 'the Fourth Estate'. "Fair and balanced", my baby-smooth arse.

Most people are blissfully unaware of the fact that this corrupt hive hoovers up c. £4 billion per year from the UK public, which is beyond iniquitous. A further £1 billion is gained from sales (which is actually a dismall return on such a vast subsidy). It should have been razed years ago.

As to the OP's question; should over 75's be required to pay the BBC tax? Hell, no!
As long as knobheads on either side of the political divides slag off the BBC for bias, it can be fairly assumed they are doing OK.
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Old 12th June 2019, 04:08 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
People are used to and know what to expect from the situation as it is now.



People do still watch broadcasts in realtime, so that point is moot. People still generally only use PVRs for time-shifting, and of course who has one for every TV in the house?
Sorry

I didn't realise your whole house only watches add free BBC and has never had confront ad breaks
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:22 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Sorry

I didn't realise your whole house only watches add free BBC and has never had confront ad breaks
I didn't realise you think speculative non sequiturs are a valid response.
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:23 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
As long as knobheads on either side of the political divides slag off the BBC for bias, it can be fairly assumed they are doing OK.
Yes, I've seen claims of "right wing" or "conservative" bias - by the same "progressives" who call anyone not on board with their twisted doctrine "nazis". Laughable, only a fool would take them seriously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06a19-S77F4
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:49 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I suspect it's what most people are still doing. It's like people on media forums who say stuff like, "who buys DVDs these days?" when the fact that supermarkets are still selling them suggest lots are.
Yeah I agree.

I love the internet with all my heart but as a... group of people it seems completely incapable of not understanding why there is a sampling bias of asking people on the internet if the do things on the internet.

"Well everyone I talk to on the internet watches their movies on the internet and not DVD/broadcast. Well everyone I talk to on the internet listens to their music on the internet and not CDs/radios."

You don't have to think too hard to see where the problem here is.
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Old 12th June 2019, 06:05 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by IsThisTheLife View Post
Yes, I've seen claims of "right wing" or "conservative" bias - by the same "progressives" who call anyone not on board with their twisted doctrine "nazis". Laughable, only a fool would take them seriously.
Yes, I've seen claims of "left wing" or "liberal" bias - by the same "nazis" who call anyone not on board with their twisted doctrine "progressives". Laughable, only a fool would take them seriously.

As I said when both extremes claim bias against them the truth is probably that the BBC is bias free.
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