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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Trump and the lucky man syndrome

by Rashmee

Posted on February 19, 2020


Everyone’s marvelling at Donald J Trump. He may dissemble, lie, cheat, bully, blunder, but he has the damndest luck. Imagine, he was serially bankrupt but can now claim to have led the sound management of the world’s largest economy. He’s a serial philanderer who can now claim to speak about God and the values so … Continue reading “Trump and the lucky man syndrome”

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Trump or not, it’s Washington’s way or Huawei

by Rashmee

Posted on February 18, 2020


If there’s anything that the Munich Security Conference cleared up, it’s this: Donald Trump or not, Washington’s hard line on Chinese firm Huawei will stay. Which means the US will continue to view with disfavour any country that avails of Huawei’s technology. (Boris Johnson had better be listening. By all accounts, Huawei is the reason … Continue reading “Trump or not, it’s Washington’s way or Huawei”

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India vs Bangladesh. Bigger is not always better

by Rashmee

Posted on February 17, 2020


    Indian TV anchor Karan Thapar made a fascinating case the other day for big countries to show a bit of humility. Ok, he didn’t really say that all big countries should be more humble. Just India. About Bangladesh. Rather than believing Henry Kissinger’s 1970s’ guff that Bangladesh is “an international basket case”, India … Continue reading “India vs Bangladesh. Bigger is not always better”

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Europe wants to help protect oil majors’ good intentions from themselves

by Rashmee

Posted on February 15, 2020


BP, which is practically synonymous with the fossil industry, has pledged be carbon-neutral by 2050 or sooner. Only Spain’s Repsol, a much smaller oil and gas producer, has set so ambitious a 30-year goal. Unsurprisingly, everyone’s wondering how, or even if, BP will make good on its promise. But Europe’s markets regulator is taking steady … Continue reading “Europe wants to help protect oil majors’ good intentions from themselves”

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Mr Trump’s proposed NATOME will be in the Middle East. That’s as ludicrous as the acronym

by Rashmee

Posted on February 14, 2020


It’s hard to see the rationale for Donald Trump’s call on the NATO alliance to increase its involvement in the Middle East.  He’s dreamt up a name for the mission – NATOME (NATO plus the initials of Middle East) – but beyond, there’s no clarity on anything very much. NATO is primarily focused on collective … Continue reading “Mr Trump’s proposed NATOME will be in the Middle East. That’s as ludicrous as the acronym”

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BBC Worklife

by Rashmee

Posted on February 13, 2020 / BBC


I managed to get the Abbasid Caliphate onto the BBC’s business programme. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000fdcx/worklife-13022020

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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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The great game…in Africa

by Rashmee

Posted on February 10, 2020


Europe is fighting hard to be relevant to Africa, its nearest continental neighbour. Today (Feb. 10) is the Africa Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia and AU headquarters. And it’s drawn European Council president Charles Michel – he’s been in Addis since Sunday – for some two dozen bilateral meetings with African … Continue reading “The great game…in Africa”

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How far the Greens have come. Or how much the climate has changed

by Rashmee

Posted on February 8, 2020


In Austria, the Greens are in chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s coalition government. In Germany, opinion polls suggest the Greens are on course to enter government. If an election were held in Germany today, the party could win 21 to 23 per cent of the vote. That’s more than the Social Democrats (SPD) and second to the … Continue reading “How far the Greens have come. Or how much the climate has changed”

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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