Julia Hartley-Brewer’s criticism of licence that funds the BBC has backfired spectacularly as people on Twitter have defended the fee by destroying her argument in a number of different ways.
The debate surrounding the BBC licence fee has arisen once again after the government announced a two-year freeze in the broadcaster’s funding, with plans to abolish the licence fee completely in 2027.
Culture secretary, Nadine Dorries said: “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over. Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”
In a tweet, she wrote: “I pay the BBC licence fee and these are the only services I ever use. Good value for money...?”
The tweet also includes an image of a table that has all the different BBC services and programmes, where all of them are crossed out except the services Hartley-Brewer says she uses, which are: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5.
I pay the BBC licence fee and these are the only services I ever use. Good value for money...?🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/435wmJGBrn
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@Julia Hartley-Brewer)
But many were quick to point out how Hartley-Brewer’s argument fails when you apply it to different contexts.
While we pay a monthly fee for the internet, it would be pretty difficult to use/access every single part of the internet yet we still believe we get good value for money.
I PAY FOR BROADBAND ON A MONTHLY BASIS, YET I NEVER USE THE ENTIRETY OF THE INTERNET
IS THIS VALUE FOR MONEY? NO
When applying this argument to getting the money’s worth out of a festival ticket - it would certainly make for an intense experience.
Why should I pay so much for a festival ticket if I don’t want to see all 350+ acts on the bill? #SaveOurBBC https://t.co/0Pthc0wSVs
— Drowned in Sound ⚓️ (@Drowned in Sound ⚓️)
While others pointed out that Hartley-Brewer has benefitted from the BBC since she has appeared as a guest on BBC One’s Question Time - and the fact that her profile picture is actually from one of her appearances on the programme.
BBC Services would have been responsible for using funds from the license fee to pay your invoice for appearing on… https://t.co/xUhOTXNCC9