One Palestine, Complete

I’m reading a book called “One Palestine, Complete” about the British invation and rule of Palestine during the first world war up to the second. Palestine was the last country to be invaded for the British Empire with the dual purpose of attacking the German allied Turkish Ottoman empire who ruled it at the time and promising it to the Zionists. Please the Zionists, the British government thought, and Jews would help keep the US fighting the war and stop the Russians from making peace with Germany. The invasion went smoothly with a train line built from Egypt to bring supplies and the Turks politely leaving Jerusalem without destroying its valuable history.

The Paris Peace Conference was a year long meeting to create the new face of the world after the first world war, new nations were created and old ones re-created. A mandate was a new spin on colonialism for the 20th century and Palestine ended up as a British Mandate, ruled by a civil administration and self-financing. The British run government created a stable judiciary, built roads and ensured the post was reliable. They tended to see the Arabs as primitive natives to whom they could bring some civilisation, but were also happy for them to keep their local customs.

Of course the trouble with promising the land to one people is that there was a large population already there. The Colonial Office had a general policy of allowing Jewish immigration in the hope that after a couple of generations the Jewish population would outnumber the Arab and the stated aim of a Jewish homeland would be possible. When a Jewish Englishman is appointed the high commissioner the Arabs get understandably upset and riots break out in the streets.

I’m only about half way through this fascinating book. I wonder what happens in the end.

The need for a Scottish Podcast

A while ago I gained an ipod shuffle in a fraudulent illegal lottery I helped to set up. My guilt at helping with this immoral website (you know the type “get an ipod for 20 pounds, once 20 other people have got one besides you” and then profiteering from it was second only to the fact I had no need for the thing. I quite like being able to concentrate and appreciate the world when I’m out and about. However long commutes to England and elsewhere and I’ve got more into the habit of using it, especially with the BBC doing some interesting podcasts like Newsnight, From our Own Correspondant and The Now Show.

Even Channel 4 has some interesting stuff on their site, an attempt to get into new media which allows downloads in MP3 (their music shows are only streamed in MP3 using cookies and I guess user agent to stop you downloading the stuff, annoying if understandable and better than WMV which they only use for the occational audio books that they try to sell). 4radio also serves to convince the world they are worthy of gaining the second UK wide DAB licence, which should be fun.

But nobody is doing a decent Scottish news podcast, so I have no way to catch up with news stories relevant to me and instead have to listen to more englandandwales stories which the London broadcasters think are relevant to everyone. The only relevent thing I’ve found is the First Ministers Questions podcast, but the Scottish parliament is increasingly ya-boo politics like the UK parliament. Hopefully BBC Scotland will get into podcasting soon since nobody else thinks it worth making news in Scotland with an international agenda and the only such problem which exists is Good Morning Scotland at 6am.