The EU has handed us a golden egg on a platter, Ed confides to his diary, the silly sods are trying to make it impossible for Apple to sell iPhones with Lightning sockets in Europe.
For Europe, Apple is a bete noir – they beat the Continentals at their own rigged game by winning a case in the European Court of Justice about whether Apple should pay $13 billion to Ireland in back taxes and they refused a French request to change the location tracker software on iPhones to facilitate the French track and trace app.
So I suspect Apple won’t be bowing down to an EU directive to change its charging socket. Fortunately, I am here to help.
“Fix me a call to Tim Cook,” I tell the Department’s telephone people.
A few minutes later the telephone people come back. “Mr Cook regrets he’s tied up but Apple’s SVP for Government Affairs will take your call.”
So that’s me put in my place. Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State for Science, Technology, Industry and Commerce doesn’t qualify for telephone time with the CEO of Apple. And I don’t even get an EVP – merely an SVP.
I swallow my pride.
“We’re here to help with this EU Lightning socket nonsense,” I tell him in my most jovial tones with the hint of a grovel.
“How?” replies the SVP, a trifle abruptly it seems to me.
“We can set up retail outlets in Jersey and Guernsey and in our most popular Channel ports – Dover, Folkestone, Harwich – where the Continentals can pop over and pick up an iPhone,” I tell him.
“Smuggling” says the SVP.
“No No all perfectly legit and above board,” I tell him.
“What’s in it for you?” asks the SVP.
“We can work that out later,” I tell him.
“We haven’t decided on our response to this EU proposed legislation,” says the SVP, “but we’ll bear your offer in mind. Goodbye.”
And that’s it. Not so much as a thank you or even a ‘have a nice day’.
Whatever, I’ve implanted a seed which could be fruitful – Apple sells $70 billion worth of kit into Europe every year and hopefully they’ll now see me as the UK point man for helping to facilitate that in the future.