Abandon All Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘canada’

[Resistance] How To Respond To TV Licensing Threats

Posted by Lex Fear on May 29, 2007

This Post Is Rated: C for Controversial. Contains references to government enabled thuggery no less.

A while ago Neil Herron posted an excellent response he had sent to TVL Enforcement:

“Despite a call to your 0870 number, I continue to receive threatening letters from yourselves.

Therefore, as I have replied to you, and requested the attendance of one of your authorised officers at a mutually convenient time in order to be interviewed in compliance with the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984, I consider any further intimidatory letters or implied threats as harassment.” – Neil Herron

I do not believe in TV Licensing. There are few countries in the world today that force their citizens to pay for a telecommunications licence. The people of New Zealand are the most recent example of a nation successfully rising up to challenge and overturn their draconian licencing laws. I would encourage people here to also protest and write to their MPs.

There are also countries who have proved that public service television can be successful without licensing. Canada, for example does not require you to own a licence to view public service television. There are only two channels available for free, then you purchase cable for the rest.

Usually when it comes to licensing the BBC, the counter-argument always presented usually follows the lines of how the BBC can afford to take risks, we wouldn’t get the quality programming if it wasn’t funded by the licence and it allows the BBC to remain impartial. Bullshit. ITV, Channel 4 and even Channel 5 are now able to compete with substantial quality programming at no cost to the tax payer.

But there is a more sinister work afoot with TV Licensing, and that is the subcontracting of the work to a firm called Capita which also run things like the Criminal Records Bureau, Congestion Charging and Council Tax. If you are not concerned yet, you should be. At this rate, 20 years from now Capita will be monitoring your every move in our increasingly Orwellian society.

With regards to TV Licensing, Capita’s method of enforcement appears to be:

  1. Send warning letter to ANY household not currently registered with a licence on our database (yes that means people without TVs included).
  2. Send threatening letter to ANY household that has not yet paid up (regardless of electronics owning status).
  3. Send a different version of threatening letter from step 2. Use lots of RED BOLD FONT.
  4. Send threatening letter: AN ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WILL SOON VISIT TO INTERVIEW YOU UNDER POLICE AND CRIMINAL EVIDENCE ACT… BLAHCAKES…
  5. Wait 3 months.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.

Anyone who has moved home or been a student will probably recognise one or more of the TVL letters mentioned above. We recently received all of these letters twice over when we first moved into our flat in London, before we had our TV setup. They seem to have been sending them since the last tenant left, whilst no-one was living there, until we arrived.

When we finally got the TV setup and grudgingly paid for our licence, surprise! We were still receiving these threatening letters! It got to Step 4 twice, and yet, no enforcement official (which I was looking forward to). Why?

The answer dear readers is simple. They seem to have little enforcement on the ground, though this is hard to determine, since they have not really been forthcoming with the FOI requests (read the pdfs). It is reported that even their detection equipment is not nearly as good as they make out.

So what to do with these threats and harrassments from the TVL? I would not encourage anyone to break the law, but let’s just say if they ever turn up at my doorstep, regardless of whether I have a TV and licence or not, I would tell them in polite and no uncertain terms to f*** off and get a warrant.

If you you need a little more detail than that, here’s a short guide:

  1. Ignore the threat letters, read others’ personal accounts, opinions and check the forums
  2. Read one persons experience of their rhetorical threats.
  3. You are worried, are they coming for you? BBC Resistance has all the answers. Take your time over the material there, enjoy.
  4. Fed up of their hateful, empty threats? Write a ‘cease and desist’ letter revoking their ‘implied right of access’ (also see Neil Herron link above).
  5. On the event that an enforcement clown officer shows up at your door, you have a right to refuse entry unless they have a warrant. They most definitely won’t have a warrant if it’s the first visit. Only a court can issue a search warrant on reasonable ground to suspect you have a TV. This means they have to apply individually for every innocent person they harass.
  6. In the highly unlikely event they obtain a warrant, they will most likely want to interview you under caution. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING. However, be not afraid. Know this: They only want your money. I cannot find the source but did I read a post for the job of TV Licence Enforcement Officer on a jobsite a long time ago. It was a “day in the life of” in which the officer explained he would try to sell a licence to the person he had interviewed. This is what they will probably try to do. (If I find the link I will post it).
  7. Protest and resist. It is completely immoral and possibly unlawful to send out letters randomly to anyone who does not own a licence. This is an assumption of guilt and requires the recipient to prove their innocence.

It’s time the UK caught up with the 21st Century and realise that not everything can or should be taxed.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Bank Robbers, How I Did It, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Non-Compliance, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Protest, Wealth Creation, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

[Londonland] Reasons Canada Is Better Than Londonland

Posted by Lex Fear on March 4, 2007

Actually, there is a bunch of reasons and BarrenAlbion has thoughtfully laid them all out in her post: For the love of God, anything but SAHM/working moms

Here are some qoutes taken completely out of context, since BA is remarking from a “citizen of the world” perspective on appreciating differences. I simply consider it 2nd world standards.

“…a cost of living which is vastly better than that of the UK.”

“Uh, gee. A two bed flat in a nice part of a mostly shit city or a five bed, five bath house with a big yard? It’s a hard decision to make.”

“if you go to the Post Office to get a stamp, they won’t take the letter you are buying the stamp for. Even though you are at the counter and paying for the stamp, you have to take the letter and put it in a post box which can usually be found outside the Post Office itself.”

Note that this happens only in the country of London and not the country of England, where I’m from.

“Look at us here in provincial England with our lilliputian appliances. Aren’t we quaint?”

“We could do without a social care system which rewards you for having three kids by the time you’re 19, or one which pays people more than my salary for being unemployed. I hate how the country seems overrun by a bunch of loutish, drunken idiots, even if you live (or think you live) in a relatively nice place.”

“Never in the US was I accosted by a group of 8 year olds asking me for money so they could go buy cigarettes, nor had I ever witnessed a woman being beaten up by a man on the street in clear view of dozens of pedestrians…”

“If I can raise P. in an environment where she doesn’t have to see men pissing in the streets, I’d prefer to do so.”

Posted in Londonland, Quoteyness | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Copywrong] Hongcouver Notsummer 2009> <2011 Sportfest

Posted by Lex Fear on March 3, 2007

That’s my suggestion that we all call the commercial event in Canada in 3 years time. Heads up from BoingBoing.

Hongcouver is the nickname given by D since it’s where most Chinese settle on arrival. Any better suggestions?

Posted in Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Copywrong, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Profiteering, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Anti-Terrorists] Government Representation

Posted by Lex Fear on February 28, 2007

Have you ever heard of a government that represents and considers the welfare of it’s people?

Posted in Anti-Terrorists, Justice & Mercy, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik, Xenophobia | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

[Wildlife] If you go down to the woods today…

Posted by Lex Fear on October 19, 2006

Actually, if you drive through BC Forests…

We spotted this fella meandering across the road as we drove from Calgary to Cranbrook on my 3rd day. He got about 10 feet away from the car and started sniffing the air. He must have smelt the A&W.

Today we went downtown Cranbrook and ordered our wedding rings. We got ones with a Native Wolf/Eagle, gold/white gold, recess design- unique to Canada. Unfortunately the rings won’t arrive before we leave for Maui but we have some basic ones on loan for the event and we will be able to pick up our Native rings before we leave for England.

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Posted in Anecdotes | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

[Travel] Canada, eh?

Posted by Lex Fear on October 13, 2006


I’m flying to Canada tomorrow. I’m not sure what to expect as most Canadians I’ve met abroad, up to now, have had a sense of humour bypass (with the possible exception of my fiancee, who will be reading this).
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Posted in Anecdotes | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

[Travel] Oh, Canada!

Posted by Lex Fear on October 13, 2006

Tomorrow I fly out to Canada for my first visit. I’ll be meeting some of my new family and exploring for a week then flying down to Maui to get married to my ultra sexy Canadian fiancee, D, who is not feeling very ultra or sexy right now as she has a cold.

I will be flying into Calgary and possibly staying overnight. We’ll do some shopping and more importantly look for our rings.

I had to give up on the parking ticket and pay it off. The courts were demanding the money and since I will be away for 3 weeks I won’t be able to defend. However I intend to see if it’s possible to lodge a complaint against the Central Fine Oriffice or potentially sue the council for misleading road markings- I’ll keep you updated.

I don’t know if I will have time to blog anything of particular relevance, however I might try to post some images I take with my digital camera. For now, however, I will leave you with recommendations for some excellent blogs and sites.

If you’re looking for some deep conversation from an open Christian perspective then check out Dead Yet Living, though it’s mostly run by students so the blog seems to have gone into recession recently. If you’re of the political persuasion and are interested in an alternative to the evil Christian Right, God’s Politics might be for you, I read Jim Wallis’s book this summer and it altered or confirmed my perspectives on many things. There’s always a lively debate going on at Mark DeHoog’s blog and Nowheresville.

Southampton University CU Chaplain writes some very witty commentary on life at the university and beyond. Please visit, especially if you are far away, because the site stats will really confuse him. If you’re looking purely for laughs, I recommend the aptly named Hot Chicks with Douchebags, or the irreverent Chase me ladies, I’m in the cavalry.

If you are interested in UK law, you should check out The Magistrate’s Blog for an eye-opener into the thoughts of a magistrate, You’re Nicked is another coppers blog, where, if you are like me, you may be surprised to find similar views to your own. Bill Sticker is Walking the Streets hoping to issue you a PCN for parking on double-yellows. Speaking of which Neil Herron is one man taking a stand against the system- and inspiring others.

For straight up politics and current events Kel writes excellent commentary on The Osterley Times. The Gun Toting Liberal also offers some great commentary, and Snafu asks some probing questions at Not Proud Of Britain (But Would Like To Be). For political protest, look no further than Tales of the Freewayblogger, I’m sorely tempted to join in this fun and start it up here in the UK.

Help – The Bailiffs are here!

I’ve had some hits from people googling for what to do about Bailiffs turning up for unpaid fines and parking tickets discovering this blog and finding just a rant. Therefore if you are one of those people looking for legal help, you will probably need to contact a solicitor, however there is some research you can do before then to get you in the picture and understand your rights. Check out my links to Social Justice & Responsibility on the sidebar. There is nothing specific about bailiffs, however you will find links that will lead you to information that will be helpful in your situation. Also check out my previous post: Thick As Legal Thieves.

If you find that you have a speeding or parking ticket you may want to check out Neil Herron’s blog, the forums at Pepipoo and the Association of British Drivers website. If you feel you are being persecuted by authorities in anyway and need to know your rights check out Your Rights, Liberty or get in contact with Justice.

Are the banks giving you hassle, over-charging you in fines or harassment? Go to the Consumer Action Group forums or Penalty Charges.

Have you been ripped off/mis-sold a product or concerned about a rogue trader? Visit Rip-Off Britain and get tips from the Money Saving Expert.

Hope to hear from you soon!

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Posted in Anecdotes, Blogidarity | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »