Corona karaoke and off-shoring refugees. Just another day in England

by Rashmee

Posted on September 30, 2020


As far as coronavirus goes, here are the rules in England, succinctly delivered by @DoughtyStreet human rights barrister Alex Wagner, @AdamWagner1: In the south six people are free to sing but in the north only one person is allowed to sing indoors, although six can sing outside. Here’s Mr Wagner’s beautifully expressed tweet: https://twitter.com/AdamWagner1/status/1311083297313902592?utm_source=POLITICO.EU&utm_campaign=e019b26700-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_30_06_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_10959edeb5-e019b26700-190565551 Mr … Continue reading “Corona karaoke and off-shoring refugees. Just another day in England”

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Why do restaurants matter?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 27, 2020


‘1843’, sister magazine of ‘The Economist’ asked an important question the other day: Why do restaurants matter? Why, said the magazine, do we choose to spend large sums of money to dine among strangers? Why indeed? ‘1843’ offers us a fair few clues. The very word “restaurant”, it says, “hints at the restorative effects of … Continue reading “Why do restaurants matter?”

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Joe & the Juice: A Danish model for a post-pandemic world?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 2, 2020


  Back in October, when no one (other than epidemiologists) was worrying about a global pandemic and chains of transmission of disease, the Danish coffee chain Joe & the Juice was defending its cashless policy as follows: “We are sorry to hear that you have become concerned with our Cashless Policy. In JOE & THE … Continue reading “Joe & the Juice: A Danish model for a post-pandemic world?”

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Is Dr Fauci a savvy enough public servant?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 30, 2020


When I heard America’s top doctor, Anthony Fauci, pleading with the US president (starts at 14:08) to drop the “political bickering” from the fight against the virus, I remembered a recent piece titled “the savvy civil servant”. The article, by Peter Constantinou of York University, makes a very basic point: Even though public servants are … Continue reading “Is Dr Fauci a savvy enough public servant?”

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Turning the NYT’s Morning Briefing into a ‘good news’ bulletin – Part II

by Rashmee

Posted on July 29, 2020


Here’s an update on my July 24th creative experiment in positivity bias in which I turned part of the NYT’s ‘Morning Briefing’ into a good news bulletin. A reader, whose profile says they are a “startup engineer”, commented that “the doom laden news cycle isn’t a representation of reality – it has huge negative bias … Continue reading “Turning the NYT’s Morning Briefing into a ‘good news’ bulletin – Part II”

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Does the centre-left have the ideological flexibility to take power?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 18, 2020


In the days before the coronavirus epidemic struck, there was a growing sense that the centre-left  in the US and UK was no longer ready for change, that it was too broad-minded, as poet Robert Frost once said, to take its own side in an argument. The pandemic is changing things. Ideas normally considered socialist … Continue reading “Does the centre-left have the ideological flexibility to take power?”

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6 non-Coronavirus ‘white swans’ that could still fly, post-pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on July 11, 2020 / The Focus


Before Covid-19, there were black swans — unknown unknowns — and white ones, or predictable financial crises. Not too long ago, economics professor Nouriel Roubini laid out the “white swans” of 2020, which is to say predictable financial crises that occur because vulnerabilities are not addressed. The professor’s list, briefly summarised, contained six, non-Coronavirus white swans. They could still … Continue reading “6 non-Coronavirus ‘white swans’ that could still fly, post-pandemic”

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From America first to America last, or perhaps to America not at all

by Rashmee

Posted on July 7, 2020 / The Focus


It was Donald Trump’s main political rival Joe Biden who identified the main problem now faced by the United States. It’s gone from America first to America last. Or perhaps to America not at all. Biden told Washington Post columnist Greg Sargeant, in reference to the European Union’s ban on American visitors as a pandemic-era … Continue reading “From America first to America last, or perhaps to America not at all”

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The moral case for the world to have access to covid-19 drug

by Rashmee

Posted on July 4, 2020 / The Focus


As someone with a vested interest in Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the covid-19 drug remdesivir, I’m looking for a return on investment that’s not encashable. Remdesivir is not a cure for covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. But it is one of only two drugs proven to help people recover … Continue reading “The moral case for the world to have access to covid-19 drug”

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Once upon a time there were black swans - now there are gray rhinos and the pandemic is one of them

by Rashmee

Posted on July 2, 2020 / The Focus


Once upon a time there were black swans. Now, there are gray rhinos. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s black swans were unknown unknowns, which is to say unforeseeable or highly improbable risks. A gray rhino is a metaphor coined by risk expert Michele Wucker to describe “highly obvious, highly probable, but still neglected” dangers. Ultimately, we may … Continue reading “Once upon a time there were black swans - now there are gray rhinos and the pandemic is one of them”

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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