I have just discovered something that will keep me from ever attempting to become a British citizen. Its the BBC.
It turns out that in the UK the BBC is still a government run agency and that there is a MANDATORY tax for all citizens who own any television device to pay a yearly amount around $300. If you buy any TV device, regardless of your tv viewing, you have to have a TV License. The list of devices includes video projectors (which do not have receivers), large computer screens, mobile phones with TV capabilities, and all television devices of any kind.
I have to ask, are the British out of their fucking minds?! Who watches TV?
Okay, I know that a lot of people do watch TV, but to make a mandatory TV tax is insane. It turns out that they drive around in vans with equipment that tells them which house has a TV on and if that address isnt paying for a license then they knock on the door and issue a £1000 (thats $2000) fine, if they can prove you watched tv. It like George Orwell’s 1984. They even make electronics retailers report all buyers to the BBC police.
Yes, the BBC has their own police called Capita, which is a private company not run by the government who acts as both sales people for the tax, I mean ‘license’, and vigilante enforcement (though with government permission to do so) for those who don?t pay!
In London there are literally millions of CCTV cameras watching the city everyday. This doesnt bother me at all. Let them watch. If it deters crime then great. But to make people pay for broadcast television regardless of how much and what they watch, even if they don?t watch at all, is fascism. No way around it. The best part is that if you are legally blind you get a %50 discount but still have to pay if you own a TV.
Currently the British government is looking into the decline of TV watchers as everyone switches to over the internet entertainment. One proposed solution is to have a similar tax on all PC owners. That means anyone who ones a computer will have to pay a tax for it, probably around the same amount or more per year. Just to own a computer, for whatever you do with it – create, consume, masturbate, educate. Is this fucking China? Is the UK a communist state, oh wait, No – if it were the TV would be free but very boring. What they are ultimately doing is creating a government sponsored information tax.
What this tax comes down to information control. You want to watch the news? Some sports? A little mindless entertainment? Well then you will have to pay for it. They even rebroadcast American shows that go out to America for free – think Simpsons. Not to mention that the BBC has just as much adverts on it as American television. So they get the advertisers money and the viewers get fucked, I mean charged, as well.
Democracy means something to me. I am not a ‘political’ person. I do not make political statements via my art and seldom talk politics with my friends. I know that in the United States citizens do not live in a democratic country, they live in a capitalist republic. Money is how you vote in the US. I think it will be great for there to have been a black man as president of the US but I think it will be great for reasons that have nothing to do with Barack Obama, his ideals, and his record up until now. They have to do with history, race and the self esteem of future generations of African Americans.
But Britain and other countries purport to be democracies as well. I believe that in a democracy the people should control the government and not the government the people. That there are certain ideals that every person should be able to aspire to and that ultimately all knowledge should be free to anyone who wants it for any reason. The limitation of people?s access to information, for reasons of profit or philosophy, amounts to a major digression from the concept of a democratic state. When a government limits your access to information through taxation it amounts to censorship of your rights, of your experiences as a person, of your desire and your right to know.
Is there a truly democratic country on earth? How can a country like Great Britain call itself a democracy yet create variables in its governmental system that are initiated in order to CONTROL the people instead of serve them? Is democracy an illusion, a utopian idea that man aspires to but can never attain? I had hoped that the laziness of the American people to throw off the shackles of the industrial military complex that runs its capitalist republic was something I could leave behind me in America. Yet it seems, at least so far as the UK in my travels, that I will never find a true democracy. That in this world the virus of money has come to control the way in which humanity evolves, with its governments there simply to lubricate the exploitation of the many by the few.
I hope someday I find a true democracy that I can call my home.