Homage to Catalonia: A profoundly European disconnect between words and deeds

by Rashmee

Posted on March 19, 2021


/ LANGUAGE There are words and then there are deeds. On March 9, the European Parliament voted by secret ballot to remove the parliamentary immunity of three of its members, all Catalans who were formerly part of the government of that prosperous region of Spain. All three MEPs are wanted by Spain over Catalonia’s 2017 … Continue reading “Homage to Catalonia: A profoundly European disconnect between words and deeds”

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Coronavirus: The dog-rental business soars in Spain

by Rashmee

Posted on April 6, 2020


A friend in Barcelona calls with news of a thriving new business in Spain: renting out your dog. Turns out the Spanish police are trying to crack down on entrepreneurial sorts who use their pooch to earn a bob or two in these difficult and uncertain times. There’s a reason dog-rentals have become a business … Continue reading “Coronavirus: The dog-rental business soars in Spain”

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Europe should pay attention to Spain’s un-European harshness towards the Catalans

by Rashmee

Posted on October 21, 2019


Now that Catalonia’s president, Quim Torra, has called for a dialogue with the Spanish government, it’s time to state some basic truths: Spain has been behaving in an un-European way towards the Catalans, with the Spanish Supreme Court handing down draconian sentences for non-violent political offenses the European Commission hasn’t dared (or cared) to say … Continue reading “Europe should pay attention to Spain’s un-European harshness towards the Catalans”

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The end of history? When the US renews Russia’s social democratic experiment

by Rashmee

Posted on August 10, 2019


Mexico’s former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda recently wrote a piece that has be one of the most insightful commentaries on our changing world. Mr Castaneda, who’s currently a professor at New York University, mused on the political change that’s coming to America. That’s not about Donald Trump but about something far far bigger. It’s about … Continue reading “The end of history? When the US renews Russia’s social democratic experiment”

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#Catalonia: This has to have been the most reluctant, foot-dragging bid for freedom ever

by Rashmee

Posted on October 28, 2017


Think about it. The Catalan president would neither declare independence nor back away from it after the October 1 referendum. Even when Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s government explicitly asked Barcelona this question some 10 days later – “have you or have you not declared independence” – the Catalan leadership hemmed and hawed. Every week … Continue reading “#Catalonia: This has to have been the most reluctant, foot-dragging bid for freedom ever”

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Why do secessionist movements rarely gather international support?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 3, 2017 / The National


Catalonia. Kurdistan. And, almost unnoticed by much of the world, Ambazonia in south-western and north-western Cameroon. In just eight days, the world map has sought to be remade by three would-be states. And secession has suddenly become this autumn’s buzzword, the catwalk craze of this political season. It could hardly be otherwise. From Sunday, the … Continue reading “Why do secessionist movements rarely gather international support?”

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As Orwell said in ‘Homage to Catalonia’, hard to be sure about anything but what you’ve seen

by Rashmee

Posted on October 2, 2017


  After the events of Sunday (October 1) in Catalonia, it may be worthwhile to quote from George Orwell’s nearly 80-year-old intensely political book ‘Homage to Catalonia’. He wrote: “I believe that on such an issue as this no one is or can be completely truthful. It is difficult to be certain about anything except … Continue reading “As Orwell said in ‘Homage to Catalonia’, hard to be sure about anything but what you’ve seen”

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Highs and lows of olive oil pretty much sum up state of Tunisia. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on September 4, 2015


The Financial Times recently reported on the happy coincidence of events that have led Tunisia to become the world’s second largest producer of olive oil this year. These are as follows: It had a bumper olive crop Spain and Italy had poor harvests This has made for rich pickings. Olive oil is more expensive now … Continue reading “Highs and lows of olive oil pretty much sum up state of Tunisia. Here’s why”

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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