Why it matters that American farmers are making common cause with India’s

by Rashmee

Posted on February 23, 2021


/ POLITICS & AMERICA I find it interesting that 87 farmers’ unions in the United States have made common cause with their protesting counterparts in India. The rights and wrongs of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s attempt to reform farming laws are contested. My friend Gurcharan Das, a former CEO of Procter & Gamble India, … Continue reading “Why it matters that American farmers are making common cause with India’s”

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Vaccination success may be a shot in the arm for Britain in another key way

by Rashmee

Posted on February 22, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY  Simon Kuper wrote an important piece in the Financial Times (paywall) the other day about the pandemic-induced chance for success thrown up for Brexit Britain. I hope Boris Johnson and his advisers read it. “What national strengths does Britain’s vaccine success reveal?” he asked, “Is there a model here for Brexit Britain?” … Continue reading “Vaccination success may be a shot in the arm for Britain in another key way”

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In Texas, 1870, Tom Hanks’ character reads The Times of India. About right

by Rashmee

Posted on February 21, 2021


/ TRAVELS IN MY MIND The opening scene of ‘News of the World’, the new Tom Hanks film, features a stack of newspapers. Some are Dallas titles, the New York Times, and then Captain Jefferson Kidd (the Hanks character) picks up The Times of India. In the film, the paper’s masthead looks like the one … Continue reading “In Texas, 1870, Tom Hanks’ character reads The Times of India. About right”

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A ‘can’t do spirit’ might be America’s biggest problem

by Rashmee

Posted on February 20, 2021


/FAITH, HOPE… Change readiness is a survival skill, a core competence, for countries as much as businesses. It rests on faith and hope, a willingness to see possibilities in new situations. As its response to the problems in Texas have shown, America is not change ready and doesn’t even seem to realise it should be. … Continue reading “A ‘can’t do spirit’ might be America’s biggest problem”

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Bill Gates has gone from 0 to 100 on climate change and it shows in the words he uses

by Rashmee

Posted on February 19, 2021


/ LANGUAGE Me too. Like Connie Hedegaard, I too thought Bill Gates was supremely uninterested in climate change. Ms Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for climate action and Denmark’s former environment minister and minister for climate and energy, recently interviewed the Microsoft founder and good Samaritan for Project Syndicate. The occasion was publication of Mr Gates’s … Continue reading “Bill Gates has gone from 0 to 100 on climate change and it shows in the words he uses”

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Imagine what could happen if Africa were truly to celebrate its art (and philosophy)

by Rashmee

Posted on February 18, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA No one can accuse the African Union (AU) of overpromising and under-delivering. At their annual summit (February 6-7), held virtually, Africa’s leaders set a goal that was bland and forgettable but also potentially transformative were it to be done correctly. The AU’s theme for 2021 is as follows: Arts, Culture … Continue reading “Imagine what could happen if Africa were truly to celebrate its art (and philosophy)”

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Green good news shoots from Britain

by Rashmee

Posted on February 17, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY Two pieces of green good news from Britain. Only one is a direct result of Brexit. On February 1, Britain decided to ban bottom trawling, the fishing technique that allows enormous nets to be dragged along the bottom of the sea, in a protected area of the North Sea. This is to be … Continue reading “Green good news shoots from Britain”

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Impeachment: The American equivalent of a parliamentary no-confidence vote?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 15, 2021


/ POLITICS IN AMERICA On the Friday before Donald Trump was acquitted for a second time in as many years in his impeachment trial, I heard Cardozo School of Law professor and ABC News contributor Kate Shaw  discuss an interesting new concept: “Impeachment talk”. Impeachment, she said to Five Thirty Eight’s Galen Druke, may now … Continue reading “Impeachment: The American equivalent of a parliamentary no-confidence vote?”

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‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’ takes us on an enchanted journey

by Rashmee

Posted on February 14, 2021


/ TRAVELS IN MY MIND  I was three-fourths of the way through fellow UEA alumna Monique Roffey’s Costa award-winning ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch‘ when I heard Bridget Kendall ask on the radio: “When did mermaid stories first appear?” The question gave me pause. I knew when mermaids first appeared in my imagination. Like many … Continue reading “‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’ takes us on an enchanted journey”

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Myanmar’s democracy was always a bit of an aspiration. Now, we don’t have even that

by Rashmee

Posted on February 13, 2021


/FAITH, HOPE… A fortnight after the military coup in Myanmar, the dismal truth is how little hope there is for a return to normal order. That’s because the normal order for Myanmar would be a managed democracy or at least, a quasi-democracy. And that doesn’t seem to have pleased anyone. Not the country’s powerful army, … Continue reading “Myanmar’s democracy was always a bit of an aspiration. Now, we don’t have even that”

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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