If you fail to pay your subscription to Virgin or Sky, Richard Branson or Rupert Murdoch will cut you off. Fail to pay your subscription to the BBC, and you can be fined up to £1000, and ultimately go to prison.
107 people have been jailed in the past two years for this 'offence', and non-payment of the TV licence amounts to an astonishing one in ten court cases. When laws are so routinely broken, it is evidence, not of bad behaviour, but bad law. And the TV licence is a bad law. It is certainly a regressive tax, but is also one levied regardless of whether you watch the BBC or not - it is assumed everyone does, even in this age of a thousand and one specialist channels covering everything from motor sport to Hinduism.
If organisations may be called 'institutionally racist' it is fair to argue that the BBC is institutionally profligate, middle class, London centric and elitist - one only has to consider the problems relocating parts of its coverage from west London to Salford to see how the little people are viewed by those in their ivory towers.
There is of course nothing wrong with the BBC existing, and those who want to use its services doing so - I would be happy to pay for the advert free CBeebies programming for example - but that hardly seems worth the £145.50 levied on virtually every household from Land's End to John O'Groats.
What to do about all this? One small step is to stand with those already opposing the licence fee. Follow @ ScrapLicence Fee on Twitter. Sign their petition on the government website, to try and get the matter debated in parliament. And the next time you see something which annoys you greatly on the BBC - just remember - you are the one who is paying for it........