Why I can no longer listen to @classicfm




Dear ClassicFM


At the moment I am in the process of decorating my home and, traditionally, I listen to your station while I work. I discovered today, after a bout of ill-health, when I resumed my task that I can no longer listen to you at all. You see, whilst I was poorly, I learned you don’t pay any UK taxes. I try hard to be a forgiving woman but I find my usually capacious stock of it is missing.


It’s not so much anger that I feel – although that does form a part of it – it’s the level of disappointment. Here you are, apparently milking your listeners dry with your products and performances  but you see no need to contribute to the public purse that enables your audience to afford you. No doubt, many of your presenters have their own ways of avoiding paying taxes as well, if I think about it.


I can’t listen to you anymore because every time you play a piece of music, I wonder what the composer would make of what you are doing – using their creation to make money for yourselves and giving nothing back to the people who made you what you are. I wonder what Beethoven would have thought of your use of his music? Or Mozart? You have taken their creativity and are using it to feed your personal greed – if that weren’t true, you’d be paying taxes. You benefit a great deal financially from the creativity of Joanne Rowling but you don’t follow her example.




I do not have a problem with people making money. My problem arises with those who profit from the poverty of others. Joanne Rowling doesn’t just pay her taxes – she gives her money away but you don’t, do you? Unless you can show similar behavioural standards to Ms Rowling in terms of taxes and charitable work, you have no business using the creators’ music you profit from, in my opinion.


I may be an audience of one but I do wonder how many other people might feel the same way I do. I have great respect for composers and love classical music with a deep passion. I cannot listen to your radio station – nor can I listen to the BBC for their open political bias – because I find myself betraying those I respect by doing so.

I’m tired of listening to selfish rich people abusing the creativity of the poor. Beethoven wasn’t rich! Neither was Mozart! How much money have you made from them? How much do you give back so the composers of tomorrow can emerge from those who are poor but creative? You don’t even contribute to the society you’re milking by your tax avoidance schemes. Why should I listen to you?


The thing that gets me the most is how I didn’t see it before! But then I didn’t know you don’t pay taxes. And I find I can’t forgive you (and that’s a big issue for me).


Financially, I am a poor woman and always have been. In my best earning year, I hit £30k and thought I was rich. I was self-employed at the time but I still paid my taxes. Those taxes pay for the infrastructure you take for granted but which is collapsing, if not already collapsed, for one third of the British population. The middle third are feeling the pinch and it’s hurting them badly. The final third – the ones who are running the country to suit themselves and nobody cares what happens to the rest of us – is your demographic. The lifestyle you advocate might as well be in Lala-land in comparison to mine nor is yours fairly earned as far as two thirds of the country are concerned. The size of your wealth is measured by the depth of our poverty – earned wealth includes paying taxes to support the infrastructure of the country.  You refuse to pay taxes when two thirds of the country are suffering – what kind of people are you?


Why aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?


The thing is that it’s likely your listeners come from all walks of life – just like me. Some of us are fully aware of the connection between tax avoidance like yours and hungry, homeless people dying in our streets.


To refuse to pay our social responsibility to the creative community we profit from is selfish but to continue to refuse when that community is suffering as a result of your selfishness is a sin that can only be forgiven by God because I cannot find it in myself to forgive you at the moment.


That is why I will never willingly listen to your radio station again and it’s got nothing to do with the music!


Yours sincerely



3 responses »

  1. Wow, I had no idea! Granted I stopped listening to them as I was getting tired of their persistent self-promotion of their own artists and works – it was a rare day when I ever heard anything that wasn’t just one of their own albums or releases. It’s like a classical infomercial. Even more staggering they don’t even pay tax. I am indeed disappoint. Thanks for highlighting this.

  2. Do you find the careful concealment of this type of information as disturbing as I do? There must be many people ‘in the know’ who keep their knowledge to themselves – I can only think for their own profit.

    When I contemplate the future of this country, under one of the most corrupt governments in the developed world, I despair. Everything has a price, but no value. And that includes you and me. Certainly we’re seeing it in every service-based employment – including the NHS.

    And yet the main news yesterday was Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement – not the rise in complaints about the NHS 111 service, the increasing concerns about the non-performance of privatised ambulance services. Those are being ignored.

    And yesterday Michael and I had to turn back on a journey through one of our local country lanes because an elderly mini-bus had caught fire. There was a fire engine blocking the way. And I’m sure that the fire engine belonged – to a private company. The mini-bus had burnt out before they got to it. Fortunately no houses closer than thirty yards away.

    The shape of things to come …

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