Voters reward Boris but what about the fog of Brexit Newspeak?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2021


/ LANGUAGE The May 6 elections in England showed something interesting. People want to be team-players. In a pandemic, they want to support their government, particularly when it has tried to do what it can to keep them safe. Accordingly, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party gained approbation — and votes — because its government overcame its … Continue reading “Voters reward Boris but what about the fog of Brexit Newspeak?”

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What does taxation have to do with inequality? These countries are working it out

by Rashmee

Posted on May 11, 2021 / The National


The American and French Revolutions are modern history’s most famous examples of popular resistance to paying taxes. But the pitched rhetorical battles over taxation currently being waged in three different countries are nothing like those 18th century transformative struggles. When Britain’s 13 American colonies rose up in the 1770s, it was to protest against taxation … Continue reading “What does taxation have to do with inequality? These countries are working it out”

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What just happened in the English Channel is a throwback to an earlier age

by Rashmee

Posted on May 10, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY I’m currently reading Laurent Binet’s ‘Civilisations’, an alternate history that has Christopher Columbus captured by the Caribbean Tainos and the sun-worshipping Incas becoming the dominant cultural and political force in Europe. The scene that recently played out in the English Channel would not have been out of place in that novel about … Continue reading “What just happened in the English Channel is a throwback to an earlier age”

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The Brothers of Italy are led by a sister, but their politics is still the same

by Rashmee

Posted on May 7, 2021


/ LANGUAGE Can we really, with a straight face, talk about women as bringing a totally different, healing touch to politics? In India, there is Sadhvi Rithambara, who is often accused of the most venomous hate speech against Muslims. In France there is Marine le Pen. And Italy has its own wannabe Marine le Pen … Continue reading “The Brothers of Italy are led by a sister, but their politics is still the same”

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The pandemic and the clothes on our backs

by Rashmee

Posted on May 6, 2021


/IT’S THE BUSINESS What are you wearing as you read this and how long do you think you will continue to wear this garment? Weeks? Months? Years? What will you do with it once its life is essentially over? You may get rid of it because it developed holes, became discoloured, or doesn’t fit, suit … Continue reading “The pandemic and the clothes on our backs”

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Through the film lens: For three days, south London became Berlin

by Rashmee

Posted on May 2, 2021


/ TRAVELS IN MY MIND For three whole days this past week, our local swimming pool – a handsome, 50-metre, outdoor affair – has been playing a starring role in a movie. I exaggerate. I don’t know if it’s a starring role. That a film crew came down and co-opted the pool and the surrounding … Continue reading “Through the film lens: For three days, south London became Berlin”

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Do countries need a system to distinguish ‘green’ from ‘greenwash’?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 28, 2021 / The National


Taxonomy, the author Bill Bryson once said, is sometimes described as a science and sometimes as an art, but really it is a battleground. European policymakers would probably agree as they struggle to label economic activity by means of an ambitious green “taxonomy”. Just days ago, the European Commission published a second draft of its … Continue reading “Do countries need a system to distinguish ‘green’ from ‘greenwash’?”

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What links the late Idriss Deby’s Chad to Egypt and India

by Rashmee

Posted on April 21, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA The death of Idriss Deby, president of Chad for the past 30 years, renews the focus on electoral autocracies, which are sustained and flourish with the support of western countries. Deby – and modern Chad’s story – is quickly told. The 68-year-old strongman died of wounds sustained during a battle between … Continue reading “What links the late Idriss Deby’s Chad to Egypt and India”

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Brexit or not, Northern Ireland new troubles are criminal not political for now

by Rashmee

Posted on April 19, 2021


  / BLIMEY BLIGHTY Days of recent unrest in Northern Ireland have caused everyone to have horrible flashbacks. It’s been 23 years after the Good Friday agreement ended decades of violence. Even though the recent incidents aren’t the old “Troubles”, as they used to be called, this new streak is profoundly troubling. A bus hijacked … Continue reading “Brexit or not, Northern Ireland new troubles are criminal not political for now”

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That Dutch election inspired hope…but not because of who won outright

by Rashmee

Posted on April 17, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… It seems awfully long ago (April 2 actually) that Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte survived a no-confidence vote after being caught up in a scandal that threatened to end his 11 years in office. And the March 17 Dutch  election seems like ancient history. In managing the crisis-defying feat of winning,  Mr … Continue reading “That Dutch election inspired hope…but not because of who won outright”

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