The shrill debate over Justin Trudeau should leave some people shamefaced

by Rashmee

Posted on September 23, 2019


The furore over Justin Trudeau’s brownface and blackface costumes tells us two things. First, a high bar is set for those who cast themselves as liberal but self-proclaimed conservatives are allowed to be as bigoted as they want. Second, such controversies quickly become hysterical to the point of incoherence. The first point can be understood … Continue reading “The shrill debate over Justin Trudeau should leave some people shamefaced”

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UNGA 2019: there’s always a story behind a no-show

by Rashmee

Posted on September 18, 2019 / The National


Who attends the United Nations General Assembly every year – and more crucially, who doesn’t – makes for a handy snapshot of the political state of the world. The no-shows are generally significant because they indicate the seriousness of ongoing, homegrown crises in disparate parts of the world. A leader dealing with regional, national or … Continue reading “UNGA 2019: there’s always a story behind a no-show”

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A blow to the Trudeau brand

by Rashmee

Posted on March 7, 2019


Have you been following Justin Trudeau’s decline and impending fall? If not, here’s a thumbnail sketch. After Mr Trudeau, son of former Canadian prime minister, Pierre, was elected in 2015, he became the poster boy for the 21st century. He picked a cabinet that would not have been out of place in a Benetton advertisement … Continue reading “A blow to the Trudeau brand”

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Summitry is best captured in satire - if only so much of it wasn’t so achingly accurate

by Rashmee

Posted on June 12, 2018 / The National


Sometimes summitry is best captured in satire. Ahead of today’s Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, there was dulcet mood music and nakedly transparent attempts by two volatile, very alpha male leaders to court each other. And then there was the grouchy summit in Canada of the G7 advanced economies. Mr Trump got … Continue reading “Summitry is best captured in satire - if only so much of it wasn’t so achingly accurate”

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Fashion diplomacy and the perils of overzealous style statements

by Rashmee

Posted on February 27, 2018 / The National


Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has been mocked at home and abroad for his cosplay take on diplomacy during a recent tour of India, which illustrates the perils of overzealous political style statements that seek to outrun political reality. For a whole week, the entire Trudeau family was photographed in a range of colourful, luxurious, … Continue reading “Fashion diplomacy and the perils of overzealous style statements”

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Africa’s old guard holds back change – and the necessary youthquake

by Rashmee

Posted on February 14, 2018


That African leaders are markedly older than the people they rule is a given. That they’re about 10 years older than European leaders (or US presidents, Donald Trump excluded) is an interesting reflection on the state of politics on the African continent. New Zealand has a young prime minister – Jacinda Ardern is 37 and … Continue reading “Africa’s old guard holds back change – and the necessary youthquake”

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Jacinda Ardern. Sebastian Kurz. Emmanuel Macron. Justin Trudeau…roll call of the young

by Rashmee

Posted on October 19, 2017


With Jacinda Ardern’s ascent (by coalition-deal-making on Thursday) to New Zealand’s highest office, that’s four national leaders under the age of 45. Ms Ardern, 37, is feisty and, it has to be said, extraordinarily lucky. She only became leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party in August. She managed to insert herself into the national (and … Continue reading “Jacinda Ardern. Sebastian Kurz. Emmanuel Macron. Justin Trudeau…roll call of the young”

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Globalism with a local accent is now officially on the political agenda

by Rashmee

Posted on July 20, 2017 / The National


When Canada’s prime minister recently made a special trip to the US to address the National Governors’ Association’s annual retreat, it was a sign that something unusual was afoot. In becoming the first foreign leader to formally engage with the group of 50 governors of American states and five US territories, Justin Trudeau was acknowledging … Continue reading “Globalism with a local accent is now officially on the political agenda”

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Did Emmanuel Macron try to copy Justin Trudeau with his carefully balanced cabinet?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 20, 2017


There were echoes of Canada’s prime minister in the cabinet announced by France’s new president Emmanuel Macron. Both have paid a lot of attention to the symbolic worth of their picks. For Mr Macron, it was about gender equality and career vs rookie politicians. He also had to balance right vs left in the cabinet. … Continue reading “Did Emmanuel Macron try to copy Justin Trudeau with his carefully balanced cabinet?”

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Unlike America’s aspiring leaders, Canada’s Justin Trudeau is dangerously loved up

by Rashmee

Posted on November 8, 2016


Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon with everyone goes on and on and on. Canada loves its 44-year-old prime minister, one year into his election win. The world appears to be smitten and the international media positively weak at the knees about a trim young male leader who steadfastly assumes feminist positions, is able to spout off on … Continue reading “Unlike America’s aspiring leaders, Canada’s Justin Trudeau is dangerously loved up”

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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