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Free the Airwaves
The British Broadcasting Corporation was founded in 1922, making it the world’s oldest national broadcasting organisation. With it was instituted the radio licence fee. Since then, the radio licence fee has been scrapped in favour of the television licence fee, which in 2011 stands at £145.50 per household.
The BBC’s mission statement is, “To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.” However, there is a growing sentiment in Britain that although the cost of the licence fee has been continually increasing, the quality of the BBC’s output has not necessarily followed.
This has led The Freedom Association to launch its Free the Airwaves campaign. Tom Waters has written a report under the same name for the TFA, which was launched on 14th September 2011. In it, he argues that the BBC has gone beyond its legitimate remit as a public service broadcaster, offering programmes which should more appropriately be left in the domain of commercial channels. He also finds that the BBC is a biased and wasteful organisation. What’s more, it raises its money through a licence fee which is essentially an unfair and regressive poll tax.
As a result, we call for a root-and-branch change in the structure of public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, to make it appropriate for the 21st century.
In addition to the launch of the report, The Freedom Association has held several events on the issue of public broadcasting, including a panel discussion both at the UKIP and Conservative Party conference Freedom Zones.
We intend for this to be a long running campaign, so be sure to look out on our website for future events which you can get involved with.