A total of 7,000 people were caught using their TV without a licence last year. Some 2,100 viewers in Southampton were amongst the haul, twice the number than those detected in Portsmouth.

What this says about the two cities I cannot say. Perhaps the good people of Pompey appreciate the BBC a lot more than their south coast rivals.

The folk who run the detector vans and go about catching those who don’t pay for the BBC’s Director General’s £800,000 annual salary, say that although the figure for Hampshire is up by 1,000 we should not read too much into this. Numbers rise and fall all the time, they say.

I’m surprised they can be so relaxed about the issue. News that 7,000 people in Hampshire alone have broken one particular law strikes me as shocking.

After all, it can’t be that they simply didn’t think the Beeb was good value for money, what with its new centres in Manchester, Glasgow and London costing £2bn over the next few years? Perish the thought.

Not that I would ever advocate breaking this law or any other. But the next time your prospective MP turns up to seek your vote and you are watching Sky point you might like to ask why with modern technology being what it is you can’t buy a TV that screens out the BBC if you don’t want to pay for it?