Friday, 1 May 2015

Have you paid your TV Licence?

St Walpurga the Licenceless

When I moved into a flat in the 1980s I didn't have a television.  A few Sundays I would walk round to Mum and Dad's in the evening and watch the Grand Prix highlights but other than that I didn't miss a TV.  However, the TV licensing people would not believe I didn't have a TV and kept sending me notices threatening to prosecute me if I didn't buy my licence.  I even had someone call at the door but I refused him admission on principle.  That, of course made them more suspicious.  After all, no one could live without a TV, could they?  In the end they gave up when I threatened to take them to court for harassment.

In 2009 the German authorities went through a similar palaver.  They sent St Walpurga a demand for immediate payment of a television licence.  Father Karl Terhorst of the Roman Catholic church of St Walpurga in Ramsdorf was obliged to write and explain that St Walpurga had died in in 779 and, so far as he knew, had never had a television!


  1. That's the government for you! Typical.

  2. RJ does not have a TV, and he lives very well without one. Of course we do watch DVDs together at my place sometimes, and he can watch DVDs or streamed series etc. on his laptop at home, if he likes. But he is more a radio person.
    I have not been watching much TV for years; after Steve's death, it took me a long time to make our living room mine, and sit there to read my paper etc. Now that I have been living on my own for more than five years, I am using pretty much the entire flat. Because I do not have a daily paper, I like watching the main news on telly at 8.00 pm, which is just about the right time for me to have something to eat as well.
    And yes, I pay my license :-)

  3. We took principle very seriously did (does) our family!

  4. Too much! And besides, i would imagine a saint would have too much to do to spend much time in front of the telly, anyway!

  5. I like the bit about "as far as he knew"... We didn't have a TV for a while and faced similar incredulity from the TV license people.

  6. I can't imagine paying a tax to own a tv. And I definitely wouldn't have let them in either.

  7. People don't pay TV license in Spain for owing a tv, neither in Morocco. I'm not sure it wouldn't work in Morocco, because everyone see pay television... without paying! :)

    We don't have tv at home and we have never had since we live together. Lately, we have started to see two or three programmes a week trough the Internet, but I don't think we're going to buy a tv.

  8. When my two boys were 8 and 9, I read an article stating most Canadian children spent more time in front of a television than they did in a classroom. Astounded, I conducted a study of my own family and found that to be nearly the case. We negotiated a "one hour per day and two hours per day weekends deal" which soon disintegrated into a host of sneaky and/or dishonest behaviours. At that time, I took a pair of shears and ceremoniously cut the electrical plug from the cord. It was 11 years before we again watched TV at home and by then the boys were off to the university. Interestingly, the teenaged grandchildren seem to have no interest in TV whatsoever, tho the lot of them can hardly carry on a conversation without glancing down at their "smart" phones. (I've never commented on your blog before but must say I enjoy "lurking" on the sidelines.) Leslie, the Canadian, eh.


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