It's that time of year again, when TV Licensing does its bit for the environment by recycling one of its favourite well-worn stories.
This time the paramilitary wing of the BBC has its cross hairs trained on members of the caravanning community, who are warned about the heinous crime of using a television receiver in their static caravan or mobile home without a valid TV licence.
Of course TV Licensing is much less keen to emphasise the point that the overwhelming majority of campers, caravanners and mobile home owners are already licensed to receive TV programmes during their travels, by virtue of the fact that their home address is covered by a valid TV licence.
Anyone whose home address is covered by a valid TV licence is also covered to receive TV programmes elsewhere, as long as they use a device powered by its own internal battery and without an external aerial (e.g. an unplugged laptop, tablet or smartphone). Anyone stopping in a static caravan is covered by their home TV licence, as long as no-one is receiving TV programmes in their home at the same time.
Richard Chapman, TV Licensing PR harlot for the South West of England, said it was important people understood the differences in licensing requirements between static and touring caravans.
In a piece in the North Devon Journal, he said: "Being caught watching TV without a licence could put a real dampener on your holidays – we want people to ensure that they stay on the right side of the law.
"The law is very clear. Anyone who watches or records live programmes on any device, on any channel, or live online, must be covered by a TV licence."
Coincidentally, as if to emphasise TV Licensing's lack of sincerity, those are the exact same words Chapman uttered to the Dorset Echo in July last year.
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