What precisely was Lord Reith smoking back in the early days? Clearly the entirety of the sticky mess that is this particular situation is entirely his fault. The very notion of charging money in return for services is ludicrous. Not to mention being in complete opposition to the capitalist ideals at the heart of our society. No wait, the other thing. Totally reasonable.
The BBC and the NHS are the shining examples of good stuff cooked up in the last century by really quite smart people in this country. Yes, there are times when they don’t work precisely as originally intended but they’re a lot better than alternatives found overseas. People aren’t forced to sell their kidneys in order to get their gammy legs fixed and impartiality at least attempts to rear its neutral head. Compare that to what offered you could be getting via news outlets such as Fox.
People are bewilderingly eager to shell out baffling sums of money for the privilege of complaining that there’s nothing worth watching on Sky. Why is it so much worse to pay out a relative pittance to a good old British institution? Yes, you may not enjoy all of the output. The Voice might not float your boat or some of the highbrow programming could go a little over your head (it’s a mile or two above mine) but there really is something for everyone. Is it really so terrible to help keep the corporation in the pink?
But don’t worry. The old quandary of whether or not you should pay your TV license (because how would they really know? They don’t actually send people round to check do they? And even if they did, how were they expecting you to pay back all that elicit TV you watched?) is a thing of the past. Europe, in a fit of pique over not having a single solution to the crisis in Greece, torched the BBC to the ground. Out of jealousy. Now no one can have it.