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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Why isn’t Switzerland a more equal country?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 4, 2021


/IT’S THE BUSINESS Here’s a conundrum: Why isn’t Switzerland progressively closing its wealth gap? The question is important in the context of the intense ongoing debate from California to Britain about a wealth tax. On March 1, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders proposed the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act – a two per cent annual levy … Continue reading “Why isn’t Switzerland a more equal country?”

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George Shultz and the essential Dutch art of doing nothing

by Rashmee

Posted on February 27, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… By pure coincidence, I received an email from Blackwell’s, the legendary 19th century bookshop chain, advertising a book on “niksen” the same day I read about the “Shultz hour”. Niksen, as Annette Lavrijsen’s advertised book explains, is “the Dutch art of doing nothing”. The Shultz hour, as David Leonhardt of the New … Continue reading “George Shultz and the essential Dutch art of doing nothing”

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Is that a nargisi kofta you’re chowing down with your pint?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 17, 2020


Coronavirus restrictions in England sent sales of a humble, often unregarded pub snack soaring. Across the land, pubs in “tier 2” tried to comply with rules that they only serve drinks to customers who consume a “substantial” meal. Amid much discussion over what constitutes a “substantial” pub meal, a government minister confirmed that scotch eggs … Continue reading “Is that a nargisi kofta you’re chowing down with your pint?”

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South Korea’s wannabe president wins support for universal basic income plan

by Rashmee

Posted on October 15, 2020


It is a platitude that the pandemic has been a game-changer. It is a banality that catastrophes are not always uniformly bad news for everyone. The lucky few may unwittingly benefit. Lee Jae-myung, governor of South Korea’s most populous province, is probably one of them. So is the bold concept known as universal basic income. … Continue reading “South Korea’s wannabe president wins support for universal basic income plan”

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Dreaming of Sitopia in Britain

by Rashmee

Posted on August 31, 2020


  BBC Radio 4 has aired one of the more unusual – and inspiring – food programmes I’ve ever heard. ‘Sitopia – a land with food at its centre’ is set in 2030. It features a Prime Minister Carolyn Steel, who led her Sitopia Party to victory in the 2022 general election and proceeded to … Continue reading “Dreaming of Sitopia in Britain”

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Joe & the Juice: A Danish model for a post-pandemic world?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 2, 2020


  Back in October, when no one (other than epidemiologists) was worrying about a global pandemic and chains of transmission of disease, the Danish coffee chain Joe & the Juice was defending its cashless policy as follows: “We are sorry to hear that you have become concerned with our Cashless Policy. In JOE & THE … Continue reading “Joe & the Juice: A Danish model for a post-pandemic world?”

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The cheesy trademark battle over halloumi

by Rashmee

Posted on July 22, 2020 / The Focus


What does cheese say when it looks in the mirror? Halloumi. The cheesy joke may be due for an update now that a London court is faced with a battle over its trademark. The salty unripened cheese is one of the biggest exports from Cyprus and the UK is Nicosia’s largest market for it. Unsurprisingly, … Continue reading “The cheesy trademark battle over halloumi”

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The post-pandemic restaurant

by Rashmee

Posted on June 26, 2020 / The Focus


Robot cooks and servers. Mannequins to enforce social distancing. Two ideas for the post-pandemic restaurant nearly 6,000 miles apart. They go much further than more conventional takes on coronavirus-induced safety and sanitation procedures — hand sanitiser; individually wrapped cutlery; al fresco dining; permanent takeout windows and kerbside pick-ups. The robot-staffed café in Hong Kong has machines whipping … Continue reading “The post-pandemic restaurant”

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Bird flu. SARS. Coronavirus. Why do so many diseases start in China?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 11, 2020


More than 30 years ago, there was bird flu. In 2003, it was SARS. And now, Coronavirus. Why do so many diseases start in China? It’s a question worth asking now that scientists are suggesting that the world’s only scaly mammal, the pangolin, may have been the intermediate host that transmitted coronavirus from bats to humans. … Continue reading “Bird flu. SARS. Coronavirus. Why do so many diseases start in China?”

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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