Imperial circle? Bentinck’s babus to mark British exam papers

by Rashmee

Posted on April 29, 2013


  William Bentinck would probably have felt vindicated now that a major exam board is reportedly the first in Britain to outsource exam marking to India as part of a cost-cutting project. As Governor-General of India from 1828 to 1835, Bentinck encouraged western-style education for Indians. It was not altruistic. Bentinck wanted to ensure an endless supplies … Continue reading “Imperial circle? Bentinck’s babus to mark British exam papers”

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Laura Marling: A sweet bird’s throat…can’t hope for sweeter note

by Rashmee

Posted on April 28, 2013


Listen to the tracks on Laura Marling’s new album ‘Once I was an Eagle’ and it is as if a perfect English summer’s day is pouring from the speakers.  Or perhaps like the song she’s written for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘As you like It’: “Under a sweet bird’s throat, who could hope for a … Continue reading “Laura Marling: A sweet bird’s throat…can’t hope for sweeter note”

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Today’s news is tomorrow’s Winston

by Rashmee

Posted on April 26, 2013


News that Winston Churchill’s jowly, glowering face – sans the cigar – is to adorn the British five-pound note from 2016 gives one pause for thought. Notaphilists (people who collect banknotes, as opposed to numismatists, those who collect coins) will be racing to scoop up prize examples of the doomed fivers, which bear the face … Continue reading “Today’s news is tomorrow’s Winston”

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Myanmar: The Gold Rush in a gyia sarong

by Rashmee

Posted on April 22, 2013


As of today, Myanmar is officially the place to be, especially if you’re a European investor with big dreams and a bob or two to spare. The European Union (EU) has lifted all sanctions on Myanmar, leaving only an arms embargo in place. This is pretty good going for a country that was so much … Continue reading “Myanmar: The Gold Rush in a gyia sarong”

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Wiki-constitutionalism: The DR, Venezuela, Haiti

by Rashmee

Posted on April 21, 2013


Why has the US, the first nation in modern history to adopt a democratic constitution, only ever had one constitution in 226 years but the Dominican Republic run through 32, Venezuela 26 and Haiti 24? For that matter, how has Canada got by with just two constitutions (or just one complete rewrite in 145 years – the Constitution … Continue reading “Wiki-constitutionalism: The DR, Venezuela, Haiti”

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Like many strong women, Thatcher would rather have an argument than dinner

by Rashmee

Posted on April 17, 2013


Lest we forget (as they say), Margaret Thatcher was buried at St. Paul’s Cathedral today and for lack of a decent story to tell (there wasn’t enough controversy to make the funeral really riveting) media outlets are focussing on the stark contrast between the reactions of the Camerons and George Osborne. There’s a small shot … Continue reading “Like many strong women, Thatcher would rather have an argument than dinner”

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Mrs Thatcher: Britain’s tough-love sweetheart

by Rashmee

Posted on April 8, 2013


The point about Margaret Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter, free-marketeer and deeply divisive ideologue, was that she enjoyed being a woman politician and favoured attractive men in the same trade. (We should remember this in the light of the recent kerfuffle about President Obama and his praise of Kamala Harris’s looks and the stew about the … Continue reading “Mrs Thatcher: Britain’s tough-love sweetheart”

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What if Kim Jong-un sees it all as a reality video game?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2013


Patrick Cronin’s Foreign Policy piece on how the second Korean war could start (as the result of miscalculation and escalation, he says) is simply chilling. If anyone can be believed, it is Dr Cronin. He is the senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Centre for a New American Security in Washington, DC … Continue reading “What if Kim Jong-un sees it all as a reality video game?”

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A better class of class system? Nah. Just more categories

by Rashmee

Posted on April 3, 2013


“O let us love our occupations, Bless the squire and his relations, Live upon our daily rations, And always know our proper stations,” –        Lady Bowley in ‘The Chimes’, Charles Dickens Dickens was writing in the mid-19th century. Despite everything – the supposed new egalitarianism; the allegedly burgeoning electronic equality; the rumoured broadening of the … Continue reading “A better class of class system? Nah. Just more categories”

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3 strikes and you’re out of the news game:A BBC story

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2013


Every time I hear my friend and former BBC World Service colleague Andrew Whitehead on air, I know the Beeb is on strike. Again. Andy is a veteran broadcaster and it’s not that he doesn’t enjoy getting behind a microphone and speaking to the world. But he’s editor of World Service News and no longer … Continue reading “3 strikes and you’re out of the news game:A BBC story”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US