Tories force £100 million payout so outsourcing giant can chase over-75s for TV licence fee

The Conservative government’s relationship with private outsourcing firms is becoming more questionable by the day. It has been revealed that the BBC is having to pay nearly £100 million to Capita so the firm can hire new staff to chase down senior citizens who fail to pay the TV licence fee. People aged over 75 had been exempt from paying the fee because the government subsidised it – until George Osborne decided that he was going to axe the subsidy for no apparent reason other than cruelty. The BBC was…

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Is the Torygraph being a snake-in-the-grass about over-75s’ TV licences?

I don’t trust the Daily Telegraph‘s advice to the elderly on the fact they’re being asked to pay for their TV licences again. “The elderly should be in no rush to pay the BBC,” the Torygraph‘s headline proclaims – and the piece itself seems to go on in confrontational manner, making Auntie out to be the villain: “TV Licensing will write to all licence holders aged over 75 with clear guidance about how to pay,” says the BBC, which is a polite way of saying, “We know where you live.” Admittedly, I…

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Blame shifting Tories accuse BBC over end of free licences for over-75s

This is stomach-turning hypocrisy from the party that hoodwinked the UK into giving it an 80-seat Parliamentary majority. The Independent explains what’s going on: The BBC is to end free TV licences for most over-75s from 1 August, after the plan was delayed by two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The broadcaster was due to introduce means-testing at the start of June. The policy changes mean more than 3 million households will need to pay the £157.50 fee from August, according to the BBC. That’s bad enough, and you might think…

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Blue Peter – better on racism than BBC News?

When is a Nazi salute not a Nazi salute? When it’s reported on the BBC! Seriously: this is how BBC news was reporting the Nazi salutes we all saw at the far-right rally in London on Saturday (June 13) – Nazi salutes are now being described by the BBC as " raising their arms"🤦‍♀️ — Mrs Czapla (@ms_czapla) June 13, 2020 The rally – which crossed the line into rioting very early in the proceedings – was held to oppose a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration planned for that day,…

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Will Channel 4’s lockdown sex revelations mention these political shaggers?

Every time I write about Tory rules on sex in the Covid-19 lockdown, Google Adsense tries to penalise me for “extreme content”. I kid you not – twice now I have been forced to demand a review, and twice it has come down in my favour. I feel like the late, great Peter Cushing, whenever he was asked to justify the latest Hammer horror film. People would say, “Peter! This film is awful! The script is diabolical, the monster is creakier than the script… How can you be involved in…

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Tell your friends to watch Windrush drama Sitting in Limbo – it’s more than the BBC will do!

Did you know the BBC is screening a drama based on the “Windrush generation” racism scandal? It’s on this evening (Monday, June 8, 2020), starting at 8.30pm and the BBC appears to have done its best not to promote it in any way. Make up your own mind on what that says about the BBC’s relationship with the Conservative government, whose racism is likely to be a major story element. And make up your own mind on whether the Corporation’s reticence has anything to do with the death of George Floyd…

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Leaked Labour report shows Riley libel case is based on a falsehood

This is not a good look for Rachel Riley: And of course Rachel Riley is supporting her pet lawyer: pic.twitter.com/TvC0i1eZVJ — Free Speech 3.5% ☮ (@FreeSpeech_0) April 14, 2020 Her tweet refers to a threat by her lawyer, Mark Lewis, to sue people publicising the leaked Labour Party report on how its officers handled (or rather, didn’t) accusations of anti-Semitism by members. The substantive revelation is that Labour’s leadership – especially Jeremy Corbyn – was not at fault in its attempts to handle the issue; it was hampered by right-wing…

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Riley libel battle enters second year – and I need your help more than ever

It is hard to believe that it’s nearly a year since I received my first letter from Rachel Riley’s legal team, threatening me with a court trial for libel because I pointed out her hypocrisy. Ms Riley had complained that Channel 4 had to hire a bodyguard after her behaviour on Twitter prompted some people to make physical threats against her. I knew that her activities on that platform had also prompted her supporters to intimidate a teenage girl with mental health problems, causing her to fear for her life…

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If you think Rachel Riley has stopped persecuting innocent people, think again

The gossip-magazine and showbiz-column stories about Rachel Riley and her new baby are all very pleasant but they mask an unpleasant fact: she is still pursuing innocent people like This Writer and Jane Heybroek through the courts, for daring to point out her own bad behaviour. Ms Heybroek is being sued for libel, because she retweeted a link to an article criticising Ms Riley for attacking a teenage girl – with anxiety problems – who dared to question the celebrity’s accusations of anti-Semitism against others. Ms Heybroek’s case is on…

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Piers Morgan should try living with the pain of a disability before inciting hate against those who do

When This Writer learned that a person with one of the so-called “invisible” disabilities was being victimised by Piers Morgan, I made a remark to a friend about what should happen to it and forgot about it. But here’s the thing: this comes in a week when we’ve learned that the Department for Work and Pensions is deliberately hiding evidence that it has been victimising people with disabilities – some of them to their death. Ministers have been seen smirking about it during debates. And of course we’re living under…

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