Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Chuggers Under Fire Again

“What have they got against a harmless children’s TV programme about talking trains? I mean, I know Chuggington looks like a rip-off of Thomas the Tank Engine, but come on…?”

Chuggers: why can't they just leave innocent shoppers to go about their business?

If you have children (or grandchildren) of a certain age then this may well have been your initial reaction to the reports across the BBC this evening. In fact, it’s all about ‘charity muggers’, those direct-debit-mandate-wielding types who approach you in the High Street to get you to donate to or join a charity.

It is, of course, just another plug for a BBC programme (Newsnight) masquerading as a news item, à la the examples in the “I-Sky” column in Private Eye (after all, the BBC’s supporters are always saying that the corporation is better at doing things than Sky).

Of course, the activities of ‘chuggers’ – whether you regard them as using emotional blackmail, hard selling or just making a general nuisance of themselves – are using tactics that are put well into the shade by those other professional seekers of funds for ‘public benefit’: TV Licensing. I wonder when BBC Newsnight will be investigating that particular outfit?

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