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I finally received a reply from An Post.
Of course I wrote right back. And what I said might not be what you expected me to say...
We must choose our battles wisely.
I didn’t have any palpitations when I saw the envelope from An Post last week. I’ve sat on this substack for a few days before publishing it, but I’ve already sent the letter. Take note from the image above - An Post are “agents to the Minister” (for the Environment, Climate and Communications, and Transport).
Interesting isn’t it, how he’s minister for climate and communications, and also transport. Anyway. I decided which fight I wanted to fight - and it wasn’t with An Post. Don’t shoot the messenger.
No, I’ve not gone and paid the TV Licence. The fact is, I’ve not watched RTE or TV of any kind since Feb of 2021 when I wrote my first complaint. I couldn’t watch and I still cannot watch. It makes me physically sick.
Here’s my original complaint, which I found, thankfully, as I had also posted it on my Facebook profile. When I searched my emails I couldn’t find it - funny, that. Learning from writing letters of complaint 101 - When writing a letter of complaint, make sure you keep a dated copy in a Word document somewhere safe on your computer.
(BTW Here’s a nifty way to find things on your Facebook profile , I didn’t know this, I had to look it up!)
9th Feb 2021
Email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
To whom it may concern,
I have feedback regarding Claire Byrne and her show. It feels like she is overly aggressive with a vaccination agenda. I felt sick after listening to her today.
Not everyone who does not wish to have this vaccine is anti-vax. This is an experimental vaccination which does not have long term data to prove it is safe or effective.
I find Claire's assertive attitude bordering on aggressive and it is offensive and damaging. She is in a position of authority speaking on behalf of the RTE, and her attitude has the potential to create stigma around people who have the right to choose not to have the vaccine.
The vaccine has NOT been proven to stop the spread of covid or any of its variants.
The vaccine has NOT been proven to be effective against any of the covid variants.
The vaccine has NOT been proven to be completely safe.
This vaccine is brand new, experimental and there is no long-term data on its efficacy, or its safety.
People who have taken the vaccine have suffered from severe allergic reactions.
Many elderly people who have taken this vaccine have died after the first, or second dosage.
People with no underlying illnesses have died after taking this vaccine.
We have a right to choose to what we put into our bodies, we have a right to all the relevant information so we can make that choice ourselves, fully informed and aware of ALL the risks. No employer has the right to tell us what to do, and the national radio station has no right, may I repeat, no right, to influence our decision.
The job of our national broadcaster is to inform us of the facts.
This has to stop.
Fair and balanced presentation of facts is required by the national broadcaster, and I am not seeing this in play. Otherwise you are in breach of section 39 (1), (a) and (b), of the Broadcasting Act 2009 which states:
(a) all news broadcast is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views
(b) the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of his or her own views, except that should it prove impracticable in relation to a single broadcast to apply this paragraph, two or more related broadcasts may be considered as a whole, if the broadcasts are transmitted within a reasonable period of each other
I do not know if Claire Byrne is aware of the document drawn up by The Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe in January 27th - taken from: https://pace.coe.int/en/files/29004/html
7.3 with respect to ensuring high vaccine uptake:
7.3.1 ensure that citizens are informed that the vaccination is NOT mandatory and that no one is politically, socially, or otherwise pressured to get themselves vaccinated, if they do not wish to do so themselves;
7.3.2 ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated;
7.4 with respect to Covid-19 vaccination for children:
7.4.1 ensure balance between the rapid development of vaccination for children and duly addressing safety and efficacy concerns and ensuring complete safety and efficacy of all vaccines made available to children, with a focus on the best interest of the child, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
7.4.3 ensure that the wishes of children are duly taken into account, in accordance with their age and maturity; where a child’s consent cannot be given, ensure that agreement is provided in other forms and that it is based on reliable and age appropriate information.
For the mental health of the elderly and vulnerable - stop being aggressive, assertive and pro-vaccination. We need our news to be balanced and truthful, and grounded.
It may be that this vaccine is one of many solutions. It is not THE solution. Pull back on the dogmatic attitudes in all of the national news broadcasts.
I hope you take my feedback seriously. There is a lot more than our physical health at stake here.
That was my original complaint, and some of you may remember it, most of you probably never saw it before, but there’s nothing in the above that would be new to you at this stage. It was all new to all of us back then, and I had to go to some trouble to get the information.
Now, 2 years on, we have even more evidence in favour of my argument. Plus the vaccine injured who are now beginning to speak out more assertively. Plus the trickle in of the ‘celebrities’ admitting they were wrong…
Back to the matter at hand, and sorry for the diversion. Here’s my response to the letter that I got from An Post in the image above - you can see I also sent him a copy of my original complaint (which is why I shared it here):
An Post TV Licence Records Office
20 March 2023
Dear Jim Mulcahy,
Thank you most sincerely for your letter dated 13th March 2023. It is the first time that I have heard back from a person on this issue since I started writing letters about it back in February 2021. I have enclosed a copy of my original letter for your inspection.
I have sent several complaints into RTE via their website, and letters to all of my local TD’s, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Health and the President of Ireland. Nobody has yet to respond to me bar the Department of Health who simply gave me an acknowledgement of receipt of my letter.
We also received a letter from An Post addressed to my Husband dated 7th March 2023 stating that “A TV Licence Inspector visited your premises recently and found you in possession of an unlicensed Television Set.” This is untrue, as the TV Licence Inspector was not invited inside our home, nor did he ask for entry, therefore this statement is erroneous.
Because I have taken such issue with RTE’s breach of the broadcasting act, as a matter of principle we have disposed of our television set. So we no longer have a TV Licence, and in protest of RTE’s behaviour, we no longer have a television.
Seeing as you were kind enough to send me the specific sections of the broadcasting act deeming An Post as the agent to the Minister, I will take my argument directly to the Minister, and perhaps you could encourage him to respond to my letter dated 17th of May, 2021.
Thank you once again for your response,
Some of you may be upset with me at this, I understand. However the feeling of deep peace that I got from this decision shows me that this is the right decision for me. I am choosing my battles wisely, and the fight to watch TV without a licence is not the fight I wish to pursue. I never once felt that I wanted to watch RTE licence free. I don’t watch them because they sicken me (as I’ve said). I can’t watch them, nor do we watch any other type of mainstream television for the same reason.
As An Post has said, they’re the ‘Agent for the Minister’ and I’ve made it clear where I stand with them. No tv = no need for tv licence. End of story. I hope it is, anyway.
Now to take my grievance to the Minister.
Watch this space.
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