The government is calling for a national debate on BBC funding.
The mother of someone I know lives alone and has very few friends. She watches six hours of television every day.
I instinctively find that horrifying. Surely, spending half your time sitting passively in front of a screen is not a human way to live.
Unfortunately, this is not an unusual case. In the UK, almost 6 hours a day of television is the average for pensioners:
As the authors of one paper put it:
... television viewing has a negative impact on life satisfaction by harming, and to some extent replacing, relationships with other people.
television provides... a virtual network of relationships and interactions that, despite being completely artificial and illusory, tend to become a substitute for actual social relationships.
Instead, the state provides a large subsidy, in the form of a hypothecated tax, to a national body which is tasked with broadcasting lots of television.
Just as people now look back at the acceptance of smoking in the 50s and ask "what were we doing?", we will one day do the same with regard to television policy. TV is one of the great harmful inventions of the twentieth century. Subsidising it is a terrible idea. Let's stop.