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I've always thought Boris Johnson was highly intelligent and certainly quite Machiavellian. He's not one to pass up the many opportunities that being in power gives you, especially after winning a massive landslide. 

This is now being borne out by the latest news concerning the BBC, a left-wing media organisation that dominates the UK media agenda, while being forcibly funded by the British public. I say "forcibly" because refusal to pay the exorbitant BBC TV licence fee (£154.50 yearly) can land you in jail.

Now it looks like Johnson's Conservatives are moving to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee, which means that the Leftist, UK-hating BBC won't be able to force people to pay for its increasingly unpopular content.

As reported by the Financial Times:

Boris Johnson’s government will launch its first strike on BBC funding next week, opening a formal process to lift the criminal penalties on those refusing to pay the licence fee.

The consultation on decriminalisation will be one of Mr Johnson’s first domestic policy initiatives since the election — a sign of the importance he is placing on shaking-up the broadcaster and the licence fee system it has relied on since the 1920s.

BBC executives fear that if criminal sanctions were removed by law, the corporation’s ability to collect the licence fee would be badly weakened, increasing evasion and blowing a hole in the broadcaster’s programming budget of £200m or more.

Two people familiar with the government plans said the consultation — the second time the government has examined the issue in less than five years — will open next week. It comes at a moment of financial vulnerability for the BBC, which later this year will start to collect £154.50 from millions of over-75s who previously were eligible for a free licence. 

This is not the first shot in this showdown. During the recent general election government government ministers boycotted the BBC’s Radio 4 flagship Today programme. 

The Conservative government has also made sure that it controls the main Commons select committee that oversees and scrutinises the BBC with the election of BBC-sceptic Julian Knight (Twitter):

A further blow came on Wednesday night when Julian Knight, a Tory MP and vocal critic of the BBC, was unexpectedly elected to chair the Commons select committee that is most active in scrutinising the broadcaster.

Mr Knight has described the Today programme as a “byword for metropolitan elitism” and compared the BBC licence fee to “a modern version of Charles I’s Ship Money” — a hated tax that fuelled discontent in the run-up to the English Civil War.

Mr Johnson’s allies see the existing licence fee enforcement regime as unfair, disproportionate and a waste of court time. Rates of imprisonment have declined since the 1990s, when hundreds were jailed for failing to pay licence fee fines. Almost 50 people were sent to prison from 2015-2018

Once the licence fee is no longer enforced millions of people will immediately stop paying it, meaning that the BBC will be less able to make Cultural Marxist crap like this:

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