In all the papers today the revelation that English visitors will be hit with mobile phone roaming charges post independence. Well ok that’s not what the papers actually say. What they actually say is that Scottish visitors to England will be hit with roaming charges.
They put it that way round of course because they want to scare Scottish voters in next years referendum. It either didn’t occur to them, or they cynically ignored the fact, that far more people from England visit Scotland each year than the other way round. You might also want to consider if the cost of mobile phone calls whilst ‘abroad’ is really an issue that should be at the forefront of your mind when deciding if your country should be independent or not.
So who brings you these shocking revelations? It is our old chums the UK Government in the latest of their illuminating papers released in their never ending quest to shine the light of clarity upon the dark machinations of the separatist fiends. The public charge is led by none other than my own fearless MP and UK Consumer Minister, Jo Swinson.
But hold, did I not read that the EU was having these charges reduced this summer and planned to scrap them all together? Indeed I did. The EU planned to completely scrap roaming charges in 2016. However they announced in March that they had decided to accelerate their plans and scrap charges by 1st July 2014. 1st July 2014?, surely that is before the independence referendum never mind the proposed date of Scottish independence around May 2016. So no problem then eh? Well not according to Jo as reported in Scotland on Sunday.
“Although the EU has pledged to axe roaming charges, Swinson claimed the move could not be “guaranteed” for Scots as there were questions over Scotland’s membership following independence.”
Ah of course, I’d forgotten that we were going to be thrown out of the EU. So mobile phone companies are going to impose charges where none presently exist because we won’t be in the EU. Hang on a minute. Is it not the British government, of which Ms Swinson is a member, that plans to hold an in/out referendum on EU membership in 2017? According to the latest polls people in the UK support withdrawal while in Scotland they don’t.
So the reality is if we vote yes, Scotland will be in the EU (no one not even the nuttiest politicians have actually said we will be expelled) whilst the rest of the UK will vote their way out in 2017.
You can just picture the scene now on the beach in Torremolinos. There you are supping a quiet sangria chatting to that nice English chap you met at the bar last night when both your mobiles ring simultaneously.
You answer, “Hi mum, yes having a great time, yeah the weathers fantastic, of course I’m behaving myself. No, that’s ok, talk as long as you like it just comes off my normal minutes allowance.”
Meanwhile at the next beach towel along, “Hi mum, yes having a great time, yeah the weathers fantastic, of course I’m behaving myself. Look mum can’t really talk long this is costing me a bleeding fortune”
Which kind of brings me back to our headline.
If these half wits put half the energy and imagination into running the country as they do into inventing scare stories perhaps we wouldn’t need independence. But they don’t and we do.