Daily Mail blasts BBC for imaginary crime against pensioners in 2020

Wild speculation about what might happen in five years is used to batter the Beeb


You have to hand it to the Tory press’s ‘war on the BBC’. It can be very creative.

Today the Daily Mail reports on how the BBC will cover the cost of free TV licences for over-75s, as part of the government’s ‘reforms’ of the corporation.

However, the Mail went with a more imaginative angle:

BBC could force more OAPs to pay licence fee 


“Middle-class pensioners may have to start paying for their television licence within five years, under new government plans.

The BBC will have to pick up the £650million-a-year bill for providing free TV licences to the over-75s, the culture secretary confirmed yesterday.

However, in a move that could hit millions of middle-class families, it will be allowed to change the rules from 2020.”

The Mail is referring to a hypothetical decision by the BBC, in five years time, to start charging more people than they charge now for a TV licence.

Thus the paper is reporting on bad things the BBC hasn’t even thought about doing yet. It goes on:

“That means it will be at liberty to raise the age at which people are entitled to a free television licence, or to introduce a means-testing system so that they are only given to poorer pensioners.”

All of this is pure speculation. The paper has conjured up a threat to ‘middle-class pensioners’ (i.e. lots of their readers) from an evil money grabbing TV broadcaster, based solely on its imagination.

The fact that the BBC could do this (and many other things, like actually lower the age of exemption) does not mean it will.

So what’s the story?

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

‘Anti-imperialist’ attacks on BBC from the Tory press ring hollow

Does the Mail’s Quentin Letts write for Mills & Boon on the side?

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39 Responses to “Daily Mail blasts BBC for imaginary crime against pensioners in 2020”

  1. GhostofJimMorisson

    Because the left, of course, never speculates or conjures up imaginary statistics (such as the grossly exaggerated definition and level of poverty this government is purportedly inflicting on the country) to pursue its own agenda.

  2. stevep

    I can`t get my head around who actually sees fit to buy The Mail.

  3. stevep

    I can`t get my head around who actually sees fit to buy The Mail.

  4. DaHitman

    Shock horror, left-wingers object to anything negative about the BBC and its TV Licence

  5. stevep

    Nothing exaggerated about poverty.
    It exists in abundance all over the world where you have people who care more about the size of their wallets than they do about the widow across the street, the homeless, the sick, the pensioner too scared of utility bills to light the fire on a winter`s evening.
    The real question is: Are you one of them?

  6. DaHitman

    Or why so many lefties troll it then?

  7. DaHitman

    So why force people to fund the BBC then, Sherlock?

  8. stevep

    Elementary, my dear Watson. Because it`s a public service. It says so on the tin. Has been since the 1920`s.
    Anything easier I can help you with?

  9. Cole

    My taxes go on lots of things I don’t like or approve of. The BBC, like the NHS, are institutions most Brits – except right whingers – are proud of. But, as we know, conservatives hate everything that is good about Britain.

  10. stevep

    Why do so many Tory Trolls exist on Left Foot Forward, a site dedicated to progressive left-wing thinking?
    Perhaps they`re lost or enjoy more intelligent conversation. Who knows.

  11. Cole

    It’s interesting – if alarming – to get inside their minds. Yesterday, one of them complained about the number of Jews on BBC TV. He’d actually been counting them.

  12. stevep

    Perhaps we should show the poor misled creatures pity, not blame……….. Nahhh!…. Let`s “out” them and call `em for what they are! Tory Trolls!!

  13. DaHitman

    Forcing people to fund their viewing habits yes “The Fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists.”

  14. DaHitman

    Trouble is TV wont vanish if the TV Licence is abolished so you don’t need it but you will need the NHS, comrade

  15. DaHitman

    Channel 4 is a public service to and costs NOTHING, Sherlock http://www.channel4.com/info/corporate/about

  16. blarg1987

    We are forces to pay for other channels such as Sky, ITV etc through the mark up on the products we buy.
    However unless you know of a way it can be avoided would be nice to know.

  17. blarg1987

    You don;t have to pay the TV license you can opt out, by not watching live TV.

  18. DaHitman

    Oh thats nice of you, so if us mere peasants wish to watch live feeds we have to pay for your beloved BBC first though……….that’s so nice of you. Say have you thought about a newspaper licence to pay for your copy of the Guardian next?

  19. DaHitman

    Funny how you forget to mention advertising keeps costs down due to bulk buying which is why new electrical products always cost more until advertising helps to keep costs down……………so you forgot this or had an agenda not to mention it 😉

    Remember the cost of LCDs when they first came out £3000!

  20. blarg1987

    A person does not bulk buy 1000 LCD televisions do they?

    Think you find the majority of people who buy TV’s / cars etc don;t do it on a whim on what they saw on a TV advert but do it because they old TV / car is on it’s last legs or fancy an upgrade.

  21. blarg1987

    Well us mere peasants subsidise your sky subscription through the products and services we purchase so its all swings and roundabouts.

  22. Rick

    Well done the Mail for pointing this out !!!!

  23. stevep

    And the programming is mostly crap, Watson.

  24. stevep

    I`d look up the definition of Fascism if I were you.

  25. stevep

    Absolutely. Most of the Rabid Right are too thick to realise it. And they get worse value for money.

  26. DaHitman

    I did, the only people who can’t see it are like you…………..funny that

  27. DaHitman

    Nope I tend to watch more CH4 and it has far more content online, Mr Stalin

  28. DaHitman

    Ah bless the idiots pretends not to realise advertising keeps costs down due to bulk buying, they see very insecure about the BBC if they need to lie so much

  29. blarg1987

    Do people really buy 1000 tv’s or cars?

  30. Harold

    Advertising is not free, I recall reading some years ago the average cost per hard working family was then £170/year to fund TV advertising. Personally I find the quality of the BBC product to be higher overall, which I personally am more interested in.

  31. G Maclean

    BBC threatened my 80 plus year old mother in care home with jail because she did not have tv licence

  32. DaHitman

    Are you a druggie?

  33. blarg1987

    Only reason you would ask such a question would imply you are one yourself one assumes?

  34. DaHitman

    No because you are acting bizarre

  35. blarg1987

    Bit unusual to say someone who disagrees with you is bizarre.

  36. gunnerbear

    No….but if lots of people all buy one car each – that’s mass market……and advertising turns a niche product into a mass market one……

  37. blarg1987

    But for most people cars are a huge investment, so I doubt they will see what’s on tv rush down to the sales room and purchase the car based on an ad.

  38. OJ

    It’s not unreasonable to speculate about changes the BBC might make to the free licence requirements. But it’d be a better idea to close the loophole in which any household with someone aged over 75 doesn’t pay the licence fee. It should only apply to households where everyone is over 75.

  39. HeleneJBurgess

    Last 50 year Best Home Income with leftfootforward. < ……… Find Here

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