The Torygraph reports that the British government will this weekend introduce a radio amnesty, whereby offenders who have yet to purchase a digital radio may trade in their trusty analogue wireless, and in return receive a discount of up to 20% on a new-fangled, expensive and energy inefficient gadget, which no doubt comes complete with hard-wired presets for Radio 5 Live and Classic FM.
The reason for this shameless bribe is that ministers had previously agreed not to implement a promised analogue-to-digital broadcasting switchover in 2015 unless 50% of radio listening took place on digital sets. To date, only 20% of listeners have made the utterly pointless transition to digital.
Needless to say, I do not possess a digital radio, and have no intention of purchasing one of these wretched devices. And I say that as someone who listens to a fair amount of radio, much preferring this mode of news and entertainment consumption to the devil’s light box. Some of my listening is on the shortwave bands, and I occasionally delight in trawling the airwaves, seeking out new auditory experiences, including in languages of which I understand not a single word.
Long may this most satisfactory state of affairs continue, and long may analogue broadcast radio endure! The state and its digital radio nazis will have to prise my much-loved SW/LW/FM combo out of my cold, dead fingers. As for their amnesty, they can feck right off. As an experienced radio systems physicist and engineer, maybe I should abandon this writing lark, and go into business designing and building pirate FM transmitters for community radio use.