Guilty until proven free from television

The latest letter from TV Licensing exposes their true ethos and intentions

This Is On You

I have previously commented on TV Licensing as an exemplar of the general unlawful and unethical nature of the modern technocratic nation state. I do not own a TV, and given a choice between having one and getting a tapeworm I would be reading up on pet parasite care. As an “autist” there is nothing in this universe that would ever make me want to put an annoying hypnotic screen in my living space. I haven’t watched TV for decades, and that’s not changing.

I wrote to TV Licensing demanding that they cease all communications with me, and offering to contract with them (plus a schedule of fees) if they insist on continuing to do so. They have dumbly taken my legal notice to desist as a customer service complaint, not a commercial proposal to do business for “pointless letter writing”. Here is their latest missive, which I summarise below:

UK TV licensing letter to Martin Geddes

Now, what matters is always the framing, never the content. This is solely about them and their interests and desires. It is a template letter (see bottom) and does not respond to my demand to cease all communications with me, which I am entitled to do so. It ignores my offer to contract for correspondence services. Also pay attention to how they justify their extortion:

  • they cite an Act of Parliament to claim it is legal (which is not the same as lawful),
  • the collective need to license televisions overrides your individual rights,
  • I am implicitly accused of being a criminal offender with no evidence,
  • you are presumed guilty of a criminal offence,
  • and you are somehow obliged to engage in their process of declaration of non-ownership of a TV (which you are not) in order to end their business process.

I also don’t have an airplane, can’t fly, and don’t need a pilot’s license, but the Civil Aviation Authority doesn’t write to me with threatening letters. If they did so it would understandably be seen as absurd and unacceptable. There is a reason why we have a presumption of innocence, and the need for due process and evidence in a court of law. This is unconstitutional, and no legislative action can undo these requirements. This is how the enemy operates: it uses legalisms to steal away our innate rights, inserting a false morality of compliance.

The letter signs off:

TV licensing letter sign off

So it is also unsigned, and as such is just “scribbles on paper” and is not a formal legal letter of any kind. Does “Suhail Patel” even exist, or is it an entity invented to avoid accountability (and being sued in a personal capacity)? I can’t tell. The failure to be personally accountable is always the telltale sign that something is amiss, and nobody wants to be on the hook for it.

TV Licensing have been stupid in this case. I have chosen to fight back on their own terms as a “game of contracting”, and this is not about whether I have paid television tax, but rather whether they have entered into a contract with me to exchange correspondence. Here is my draft response that will be going in the post tomorrow.

Dear Sir/Madam,

On 25th September 2022 I wrote to you demanding you cease all communications with me, and offering to contract with you for correspondence services if you do not. Under English constitutional law there is a presumption of innocence, and no Act of Parliament can override that. Your revenue collection desires are of no interest or relevance to me, and I have no desire to enter into debate on matters of your policy.

If you believe I have a television and am operating it unlawfully then I suggest that you go to a court and gain a warrant to prove so. Otherwise all you are doing is harassing me under a false pretext of unlawful conduct — which can result in criminal charges under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. You are also in contravention of the Theft Act 1968 under the section relating to blackmail, thus: “A person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces.”

Your unsigned letter (which has no legal standing) reference 1-17062944857 fails to acknowledge my offer to contract, but by sending me this response you have accepted my terms. I hereby enclose my invoice for £750, payable within 14 days. I strongly urge you to get legal counsel, pay this invoice, and cease all further communications with me as requested. I will pursue this in the small claims court if necessary, and there is no special exception to contract law for your attempts to extort me.

Martin Geddes

I am done with these clowns, but this may set a very interesting precedent. I am not going away or giving up. This is an interesting case, because unlike say Council Tax or HMRC there is no question of me owing them anything, or having any obligation whatsoever to deal with them. They keep trying to drag the issue back to ownership of a television, but that is immaterial. I don’t have a tiger, either, and don’t need a license to keep wild animals. Fun, fun, fun!