Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 05/Jun/2006: "TV Licensing - The End of the Saga?"

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TV Licensing - The End of the Saga?

The last 2.5 years I've entertained my readers with fairly regular instalments of The TV Licensing Saga. Bad news then: The saga might be coming to an end. But then again, it might not. It all depends on TV Licensing, I guess. About two weeks ago I received a phone call, I think this is roughly how it went (didn't have time to take notes then):

Can I speak with Mr Grewe, please?
Yes, speaking.
This is XYZ from TV Licensing, we don't seem to have a record of a TV Licence at your address.
Yes, and?
We just want to check why there is no TV Licence at this address, as we haven't had a response from you?
I don't have a Television.
Ah, ok, I will then update our records accordingly and confirm this with a letter. As per our standard procedure we will send somebody around and we would appreciate your cooperation... (continued reading of standard script, including something about reason that the previous letters were addressed to 'The Present Occupier' because I didn't respond and therefore they didn't have my name)
Yeah, thanks, good bye.

Last week the letter arrived. Guess who it was addressed to? Yes, 'The Present Occupier'. Hm, didn't you ask for me when you were calling and didn't I confirm my name? So why does the letter go to 'The Present Occupier' and opens with 'Dear Sir/Madam'?

Thank you for informing us recently that you do not require a TV Licence.

You're welcome. You could have had that two years ago, if you had been a bit friendlier. But I guess that's another story. Oh, and you called me.

Our experience has shown that a small but significant minority of people who tell us that they do not need a TV Licence, are found to require one when visited. We therefore need to verify the position for all households who inform us that they do not have a television, as a standard procedure.

In other words, you suspect me of being a liar?

By visiting these households we hope to identify all such evaders and we can also ensure that those who, like yourself, legitimately need no contact from Television Licensing are not troubled unnecessarily in the future.

Ah, so you think I'm honest after all? So why do you then need to check on me? Make up your mind...

Therefore, we would appreciate your co-operation when one of our TV Licensing Officers visits you in the near future. These visits are routine and take a matter of minutes.

Oh, near future, where have I heard that one before? And what do you expect your TV Licensing Officer to do? I think that visit will take the mere matter of seconds:

Good afternoon, I'm from TV Licensing
Good afternoon.
I wanted to confirm that you don't have a television.
That's correct. Good bye.

Once our officer has confirmed that there is no need for a TV Licence at your address, we will ensure that you do not receive further letters or visits for at least three years.

I believe that when I see it. The TV Licensing Saga might not be over yet...

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