The House of Lords has overruled the Britain’s elected legislators by voting to delay any decriminalisation of TV licence fee non-payment until 2017. The vote to delay removal of the criminal penalty was 178 to 175.
Unlike the Church of England, the BBC is not able to place its own representatives in the legislature to look after its interests. But it has friends in the House of Lords who can help it out without regard for any democratic principles.
Among those legislators-for-life who thought they knew better than the representatives of the people were:
Michael Grade. He chaired the BBC from 2004 to 2006.
Floella Benjamin. She worked for the BBC as a presenter.
Michael Cashman. He worked for the BBC as an actor.
Mr Grade said that “dark forces” were behind the attempt to keep those who watch TV without a licence out of the criminal justice system. But he admitted that he wanted to protect the BBC’s income by letting it continue to force those who do not want to watch BBC TV pay for it regardless. The “dark forces” used the democratic House of Commons. The BBC used the undemocratic House of Lords.
Richard Overton warned us in his A Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens in 1646.
“You only are chosen by the people and therefore in you only is the power of binding the whole nation by making, altering or abolishing of laws” he told MPs. “You have therefore prejudiced us in acting so as if you could not make a law without both the royal assent of the king (so you are pleased to express yourselves) and the assent of the Lords”.
We have still not learned his lesson.