French public life is becoming more ‘Americanized’ and British public life more French

by Rashmee

Posted on February 20, 2020


Everyone’s talking about the alleged “Americanization” of French public life, but almost no one is mentioning the almost parallel Gallicization of British public life. Let me explain. Just days ago, for the first time in France’s modern history, a politician resigned because his sex life was publicly exposed. Benjamin Griveaux, one of President Emmanuel Macron’s … Continue reading “French public life is becoming more ‘Americanized’ and British public life more French”

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Incarcerating jihadists ‘forever’ could run into logistical quicksand

by Rashmee

Posted on February 9, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


It’s a conundrum. There may not be a single solution to the threat of terrorists re-offending. Britain has declared a war on terrorists. It is only marginally better than US President George W. Bush’s “war on terror.” Unlike the United States, which has fought since 9/11 against an abstract noun, Britain will wage war against … Continue reading “Incarcerating jihadists ‘forever’ could run into logistical quicksand”

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A European Singapore, if such an entity were even possible, might be hard for the EU to stop

by Rashmee

Posted on February 7, 2020


How will the European Union (EU) stop Britain from diverging from its rules here on in? How  can the EU do anything about British competitiveness, if indeed Brexit were to be managed in a way that prioritises the building of an agile regulatory system able to foster innovation and nurture efficiency? There’s not a hope … Continue reading “A European Singapore, if such an entity were even possible, might be hard for the EU to stop”

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After Brexit, British bolshie-ness will be up against the great powers

by Rashmee

Posted on January 30, 2020


Tom Cotton is a US senator from Arkansas, the state that Britain and much of the world would chiefly know as being the home state of president Bill Clinton. Mr Cotton is also a close ally of Donald Trump, someone that Britain and much of the world knows to be bullying, transactional and utterly uninterested … Continue reading “After Brexit, British bolshie-ness will be up against the great powers”

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Both the US and Europe have a shrinking geography of opportunity

by Rashmee

Posted on January 27, 2020


Coincidentally, I read a Brandeis University report on ‘The Geography of Child Opportunity’ in the US the same day I came across a statistic on poverty in western Europe. According to gross domestic product (GDP)estimates reconstructed by economic historians for nearly 200 subnational regions across western Europe going back a century, regional inequality stopped narrowing … Continue reading “Both the US and Europe have a shrinking geography of opportunity”

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Fear of the ‘other’ causes ructions in Britain and Norway

by Rashmee

Posted on January 26, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Certain groups of people are being dehumanised and cast as the “other” because of fear. Because of that, the crime of hate is being normalised. In December, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson led his Conservative Party to a huge parliamentary majority, which gave him leeway to steer Brexit, controversial trade talks with the United States … Continue reading “Fear of the ‘other’ causes ructions in Britain and Norway”

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Anyone for a ‘ravioli’ Brexit?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 25, 2020


First there was Brexit. Then there was Megxit. Brexit was variously described as likely to be “hard” or “soft”, “blind” or “Canada plus” or “Canada plus plus”. Megxit was nothing but hard. Brexit terms proliferated like hair on the ears of a gentleman in his sixties. There was “the Irish backstop”, the “flextension” granted by … Continue reading “Anyone for a ‘ravioli’ Brexit?”

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Balzac praised the local grocer as ‘the strongest of social links’. The West isn’t picking up on it

by Rashmee

Posted on January 24, 2020


When it comes to communal well being, never under-estimate the unique role of the local grocer, the butcher, the baker, and the greasy-spoon up the road. In 1840, Honoré de Balzac’s praised the local grocer as “the strongest of social links”. So, what happens when the grocer shuts shop, forced out of business by supermarkets? … Continue reading “Balzac praised the local grocer as ‘the strongest of social links’. The West isn’t picking up on it”

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Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2020


I’m with Peter Ricketts on NATO. The man who served as the UK’s permanent representative  to the defense alliance from 2003 to 06, has said (paywall) that Emmanuel Macron’s doubts deserve a sensible and measured response. That is entirely true. Instead of rebukes from Donald Trump and Angela Merkel, Mr Macron’s attempt to force attention … Continue reading “Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey”

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So long, and thanks for all the ‘princessing’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 11, 2020


  Anyone enraged by Harry and Meghan’s stated wish for a partial exit from the British royal family might want to read Monica Hesse’s interesting take on the whole thing. Ms Hesse incidentally, is a Washington Post columnist, who writes about gender and its impact on society. In line with her news beat, she discusses the … Continue reading “So long, and thanks for all the ‘princessing’”

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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