The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Lunchtime links

Stuff I'll read before rehearsal today:

Back to the mines...

More stuff to read

Even though there are about 58 hours left in the year, I still have work to do. Meanwhile, a few things to read have crossed my RSS feeds:

OK, back to work.

First of two posts: all the politics

Before discussing the most important sports story in North America since...well, since the States were United, let me highlight some of the political and professional stories percolating:

Stay tuned for the real story of the day.

More reading this evening

I'm a little disappointed with the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Giants last night, but they get another crack at them tonight. I'll probably watch—while writing software. Meanwhile, here are some articles I wish I'd had more time to read:

Go Cubs, and back to work.

Sunday morning reading

Ah, I can finally take a few minutes to read through my backlog of articles, which have a common theme coming off this past week's events:

That, plus a tour of the Laguintas Brewery this afternoon (the one here, not the one in Petaluma), ought to keep me busy.

Number 1, mister Speaker

This morning, Theresa May had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to her duties in the House, will have further such meetings this afternoon:

I'm not necessarily a Theresa May supporter, but this was her first PMQs. I also love that the House of Commons now publishes PMQs within a couple of hours, so I never have to miss them.

Can anyone imagine what question time would be like with Donald Trump at the dispatch box? I can. It would not be like this.

Cameron out this week

British Home Secretary Theresa May became the last person standing in the Conservative party this morning when her only remaining challenger dropped out. So instead of waiting for the party conference in September to formally step down, PM David Cameron is buggering off this week:

May had been competing with Andrea Leadsom to replace David Cameron as party leader after he announced he would quit after losing last month's Brexit referendum.

However, Leadsom announced Monday she was dropping out, leaving May unopposed and forcing the Conservatives to abandon their plans for a ballot of members.

Cameron said he would offer his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday — a necessary formal step when changing leaders — meaning May would become leader the same day.

May will be the country's second female PM and the first since Margaret Thatcher stood down in 1990.

There is, however, a wrinkle:

[H]er premiership will be dominated by one subject, and one alone: Brexit. The new prime minister has said she will not rush to invoke Article 50, beginning formal exit talks, and in her public pronouncements has emphasised the importance of retaining single-market access to a greater degree than some of her more die-hard Eurosceptic colleagues, some of whom question whether she will drive a hard enough bargain with the 26 other EU states.

Given the coming storms—from the renegotiation to the economic fallout from Britain’s decision on June 23rd—Mrs May will surely be tempted to call an early election. She has previously ruled this out. But those around her obsess about avoiding the mistakes of Gordon Brown, another introverted master of detail who inherited the premiership rather than winning it at the polls. Mr Brown contemplated a vote in 2007 when he took over from Tony Blair, chickened out and lived to regret it. So as the home secretary prepares her move to that storied, terraced house in SW1 and contemplates a Labour Party tearing itself apart, the thought must cross her mind: time to go to the country and secure a five-year lease?

Fun times in the UK.

Which city might take over from London?

New York Times business columnist James Stewart thinks it through:

Unless Britain finds a way to undo its decision to leave the European Union, London’s days as the pre-eminent global financial capital, ranked even ahead of New York, may be numbered.

Who might win this high-stakes financial sweepstakes?

Here are the criteria most frequently mentioned: English-language facility, which is essential for attracting a global work force; a favorable regulatory environment, especially regarding employment; excellent transportation and communications infrastructure; availability of prime office space and luxury housing; good schools; good restaurants and cultural offerings; and finally, an intangible quality that includes a certain energy level and openness to an influx of highly paid, competitive City of London-Wall Street types.

I scored numerous cities in the European Union on a 60-point scale: five points for office space and housing, five points for restaurants and cultural offerings — because it’s easier for any city to build new offices and housing, and import talented chefs and entertainers — and 10 points for each of the others.

So who's on top? I'll let you read it, but for my money, I'd live in any of Stewart's top 3.

Brexit and aviation

Cranky Flier points out that while tourism to the UK is really a great deal right now (as I'd attest), it's going to be a lot more expensive if Brexit actually happens:

Today the UK is part of the European Common Aviation Area (CAA). That means that UK-based airlines can fly anywhere within Europe they want, just as if they were based in any of those other European countries. The same goes for European airlines flying within the UK. It also means that bilateral agreements negotiated by the EU with third parties outside the EU apply to the UK. And there are a host of European aviation regulations that govern air travel in the UK as well. Some or all of this may go away completely when the break-up occurs. That is to be determined by those negotiating the terms.

...[T]he EU may decide it doesn’t want the UK in the CAA anymore. That would be quite the blow to the UK, but it would be a warning shot for anyone else contemplating the same thing. I keep coming back to that castle scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

That would mean that the UK and the EU would need to set up a more traditional bilateral agreement. It would be shocking if those restrictions didn’t include a ban on UK-based airlines from flying within the EU. That would mean foreign ownership rules would apply. For EU-based airlines this wouldn’t be a huge issue. They’d probably lose the ability to fly domestically within the UK and they couldn’t be majority-owned by a UK shareholder anymore. That’s not really an issue.

For the UK, however, it’s bad news. Think about easyJet, a UK-based airline that criss-crosses the EU all day every day. It would no longer be able to do that. Instead it would be forced to create an EU-based subsidiary, of which it could presumably only own 49 percent, and then have that company handle the intra-EU flying. Half the profits of that company would go into the EU instead of to the UK as they do today. The airline is already investigating this possibility. This wouldn’t hurt easyJet other than adding a little more complexity, but it would hurt the UK.

Yesterday, I thought of a different problem, but related not just to Brexit but to the general British mindset of never wanting to change anything. That problem is Heathrow. It's not fun connecting through Heathrow to go anywhere, mainly because it's only got two runways servicing its five spread-out terminals. Compare that with, say, Amsterdam's Schiphol, or Munich, or even Brussels, and it's difficult to see how Brexit doesn't make Heathrow even less attractive than its continental competitors.

The UK will screw itself by leaving the EU so many ways that porn stars will be flabbergasted. Aviation is just one small area of this.