Lobbying and cronyism in Britain: fat cats and other felines

by Rashmee

Posted on April 16, 2021


/ LANGUAGE Britain’s so-called lobbying and cronyism row is anything but. It’s about fat cats, lean mean hunters, entitled purebreds, scruffy strays, trainable tabbies, rebellious rescues – in other words, all sorts of felines padding through the corridors of power. Lobbying and cronyism is a feature, not a bug of British politics. The language being … Continue reading “Lobbying and cronyism in Britain: fat cats and other felines”

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Reflections after a year as a volunteer in pandemic-hit Britain…

by Rashmee

Posted on April 12, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY Sunday, April 11 marked one year of constant volunteering on my part. First, with the Council’s community hub, then with the Council and NHS’s Project Hope for medical staff, and finally, now, with vaccination clinics all around the area. April 11 also marked an apparent change of mood among many of the … Continue reading “Reflections after a year as a volunteer in pandemic-hit Britain…”

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‘A rude old man from a bygone age?’

by Rashmee

Posted on April 11, 2021


/ TRAVELS IN MY MIND I have a niece who is a Duke of Edinburgh scheme awardee. When Prince Philip died, barely two months before his 100th birthday, I asked her how she felt. “Sad,” she said, “I always liked him, he was funny.” Now my niece was, by no means close to Prince Philip. … Continue reading “‘A rude old man from a bygone age?’”

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AI, the tank and the ‘blitzkrieg’ concept: The US needs to think in a whole new way

by Rashmee

Posted on April 10, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… Can America think asymmetrically in the struggle with China? It’s a pressing and difficult question, but Michele Flournoy recently offered a remarkable answer: Yes, there’s hope, if the US starts to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the 21st century’s tank. She didn’t use those words exactly but the story she told Demetri … Continue reading “AI, the tank and the ‘blitzkrieg’ concept: The US needs to think in a whole new way”

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The international order itself is racially structured

by Rashmee

Posted on April 7, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA Some of the biggest arguments about power – who should have it and why – revolve around race. It goes beyond the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and allegations of institutional racism in the UK. The very structure of the world order rests has a racial basis. … Continue reading “The international order itself is racially structured”

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America’s bad news bias is a feature not a bug

by Rashmee

Posted on April 6, 2021


/ POLITICS & AMERICA Bad news bias is not breaking news. Recently published research by Bruce Sacerdote (pdf), an economics professor at Dartmouth College, asked a troubling question: “Why is all Covid-19 news bad news?” The paper covered the negative “tone” of the US media, versus non-US media. It found that 87 per cent of … Continue reading “America’s bad news bias is a feature not a bug”

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Would diversity and the British royal family mean more Plantagenets?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 5, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY I’m not a royalist but I generally try not to be rude about the British Queen. She will be 95 this month for God’s sakes and it’s not particularly kind to go round metaphorically kicking an old lady. That said, news that the British royal family may appoint a diversity champion had … Continue reading “Would diversity and the British royal family mean more Plantagenets?”

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Legislative thuggery in Georgia?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 2, 2021


/ LANGUAGE In 1897, Mark Twain described the menace of Thuggee in India on the basis of a 60-year-old British government report. Twain noted in ‘Following the Equator’ (sometimes published with the alternative title ‘More Tramps Abroad’) “that nobody could travel the Indian roads unprotected and live to get through; that the Thugs respected no … Continue reading “Legislative thuggery in Georgia?”

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This ‘Suez crisis’ could be an opportunity

by Rashmee

Posted on April 1, 2021


/IT’S THE BUSINESS Until recently, the “Suez crisis” was the phrase used to describe a pivotal event in 1956. Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser had nationalized the Suez Canal, a move that angered Britain, which moved alongside France and Israel to retake control. Supported by the Soviets, the Egyptian demand for withdrawal of the British-French-Israeli … Continue reading “This ‘Suez crisis’ could be an opportunity”

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A glorious week for Britain? Depends on who you ask

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY This week, parts of Britain could be hotter than Saint Tropez or Ibiza. The southeast of England could be sweating in temperatures as high as 24 degrees centigrade. And lockdown rules are easing.  In Wales, “stay local” measures have been lifted. In England, outdoor sports facilities open today (Monday, March 29), with … Continue reading “A glorious week for Britain? Depends on who you ask”

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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