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TV License Fee

26th August 2015 | Politics

TV License Fee
The licence fee has been in use in the United Kingdom since just after the Second World War, and currently costs £145.50 per year for a colour TV. This fee pays primarily for TV, radio and online content produced by the BBC, and allows the BBC to remain independent and free from advertisements.

The licence fee does have some concessions – for example, TV licences are free for over 75s (as funded by the government), and you do not currently need a licence if you only watch programmes on demand services such as iPlayer and 4oD.

The relationship between the UK government and the BBC has a complex history, and the speculation in the run up to the Budget recently appears to have relit the fire, with George Osborne being expected to announce that the BBC must make a contribution to the deficit in the form of funding approximately 4.5m TV licences for over 75s. As previously mentioned, this is currently funded by the government, but it appears likely that the Conservatives have targeted it as a key area to make cuts to the deficit.

With these expected cuts indicating that the BBC could lose around one-fifth of its budget, the upcoming Budget certainly seems to indicate worrying times for the broadcaster. However, there is a proposed change which could potentially lead to the long term salvation of the BBC’s budget.

The situation at present is that technology and the way that people view TV shows is evolving much more rapidly than the law on TV licensing. Following the BBC’s revelation that its licence fee income was down by £150m a year, due to so many people using a significant loophole, which means that you can watch catch-up programmes without needing a licence.

Osbourne may…

CorbynMania

26th August 2015 | Politics

CorbynMania
Corbynmania is definitely one of the most interesting political events at the moment. With the veteran Islington North MP looking right on track to win the election.

Some vocal Labour party members to the right of the spectrum have condemned his rise, citing it as a return to the ‘dark days’ of Neil Kinnock’s leadership in the 1980s. There has even been talk of a coup with fellow leadership contender Liz Kendall (generally seen to be a ‘Blairite’) even suggesting the possibility of her involvement in a bid to oust Jeremy Corbyn.

However, one can’t help but notice that this seems awfully undemocratic, especially from a party which champions the power of the people’s voice. From young people getting their first real taste of the prospect of a socialist leader of a major party, to older party supporters who always struggled to accept Labour’s move to the right in recent decades- it is unarguable that Jeremy Corbyn is generating a lot of support from a broad spectrum of people.

Is it really fair to mention a coup, or to suggest that Corbyn supporters get a ‘heart transplant’ as former ‘New Labour’ Prime Minister Tony Blair said?

Opponents of Corbyn’s surge have argued that Labour’s new registered supporter scheme is flawed. This scheme enables an individual – even one unaffiliated to a Trade Union – to receive a vote in the leadership election in exchange for £3, and a promise that they support Labour’s values. There has been plenty of discussion about how this has essentially opened up the flood gates to anyone, with any motive, to join. This could realistically include supporters of the Conservatives registering to vote for Corbyn, with the motive that his leadership would keep Labour out of power for years to come.

Labour Leadership Race

1st August 2015 | Politics

Labour Leadership Race
What has happened to Labour? Ever since the exit poll was revealed at 22:00 on the May 7th Labour have been in turmoil. The exit poll revealed that Labour were on course to have the worst general election for many years.

After all the results were counted and declared, their worst nightmare became reality. They had been nearly obliterated in Scotland, only retaining 1 of their 41 seats and they had failed to control the threat that came from the SNP, which every party including the Lib Dems couldn't predict.Throughout England and Wales, Labour had lost out to the Conservatives and had fallen below UKIP in a number of areas, including losing what was and still is considered, Northern Labour land. This was, like in most politics, blamed on one man, the leader - in this case Ed Miliband, who announced his resignation the same day.

The Exit poll raised many questions amongst Labour about the way they conducted themselves throughout the election process, about whether they had lost the true meaning of being a Labour supporter and if they turned their backs on the true Labour voters to try to persuade others to vote for them.

The poll also brought up questions about Ed Miliband himself, if he was strong enough and whether he had the right public image to try and fight to become Prime Minister.

With Ed gone it was left to Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman to pick up the pieces and try to reunite the dismayed Labour party.A party leadership competition was also announced and we now know the four final contenders; Andy Burnham, Yvette Copper, Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn.

Each have their own desires and personal ideas which they believe will be enough…