Voters reward Boris but what about the fog of Brexit Newspeak?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2021


/ LANGUAGE The May 6 elections in England showed something interesting. People want to be team-players. In a pandemic, they want to support their government, particularly when it has tried to do what it can to keep them safe. Accordingly, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party gained approbation — and votes — because its government overcame its … Continue reading “Voters reward Boris but what about the fog of Brexit Newspeak?”

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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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Brexit Newspeak: End of free movement of people is ‘freedom’

by Rashmee

Posted on February 5, 2021


/ LANGUAGE January 1 was the first day that new (supposedly more free and therefore, more fulfilling) travel and trade rules went into effect for Britain in relation to the European Union. It finally happened…more than four years after Britain voted to leave the EU. Britain, Brexiteer politicians tell us, is finally free. Is it? … Continue reading “Brexit Newspeak: End of free movement of people is ‘freedom’”

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Brexit really has meant Brexit: ‘Let them eat cake’

by Rashmee

Posted on February 1, 2021


/ BREXIT BRITAIN In the month since Brexit properly began, consider all the things that have happened. The European Union (EU) and UK have begun their future relationship with a row over diplomatic protocol. Britain is refusing to grant full diplomatic privileges to the EU’s envoy in London, something more than 140 other countries have … Continue reading “Brexit really has meant Brexit: ‘Let them eat cake’”

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After Brexit, the French urge Europe to rethink the language of Shakespeare

by Rashmee

Posted on January 23, 2021


It’s not particularly surprising that the French sent up a trial balloon within a few weeks of Brexit. They’ve started to ask a crucial question: Why use English anymore to transact the business of Europe? With the British having left the club why should the 27 members of the European Union (EU) speak the language … Continue reading “After Brexit, the French urge Europe to rethink the language of Shakespeare”

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What British sofa beds – or the lack thereof – tell us about the ’empire of things’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 2, 2021


I have been trying – and failing – to buy a sofa bed for delivery within the next month or two and it’s got me thinking about something that historian Frank Trentmann has called the “empire of things”. Mr Trentmann’s 2016 book ‘Empire of Things’ chronicled the “global advance of goods” from the 15th century. … Continue reading “What British sofa beds – or the lack thereof – tell us about the ’empire of things’”

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The ‘B’ word is strangely absent from the conversation today

by Rashmee

Posted on June 24, 2020 / The Focus


Today is the fourth anniversary of Brexit. Hardly anyone is marking the occasion. Take a look at the eight front pages below. None of them refer to that transformative event, which set off a period of intense political turmoil in Britain, paralysing Parliament, polarising the country and pushed two Conservative prime ministers out of office. The Brexit … Continue reading “The ‘B’ word is strangely absent from the conversation today”

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Reading George Orwell can help us understand Boris Johnson

by Rashmee

Posted on June 16, 2020 / The Focus


In 1946, a year before the British were forced to grant India its independence, George Orwell bemoaned the decline of the English language. In an essay titled ‘ Politics and the English language ‘, Orwell called out the “sheer humbug” that passed for political speech and writing, the “pretentious, Latinized style” and deliberate use of … Continue reading “Reading George Orwell can help us understand Boris Johnson”

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In a world hit by a pandemic, does Brexit even matter anymore?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 9, 2020


Britain will leave the European Union’s (EU) single market at the end of its post-Brexit transition period, which is to say January 1, 2021 will be the start of a whole new phase in the life of the United Kingdom. Will this matter in a world hit by a pandemic? More to the point, does … Continue reading “In a world hit by a pandemic, does Brexit even matter anymore?”

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Coronavirus won’t kill off the high price of Brexit and ‘nostalgic nationalism’

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2020


The joint Brexit committee – composed of EU and UK representatives – had its first teleconference on March 30, and reportedly boasted a “constructive and productive atmosphere”. That was the word from European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, committee co-chair with the UK’s Michael Gove. Despite the cheeriness, it’s true that Brexit negotiations have been … Continue reading “Coronavirus won’t kill off the high price of Brexit and ‘nostalgic nationalism’”

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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