Blimp deflator: Letting out the gas

Biographical note

I AM a retired journalist in Palmerston North, New Zealand. My interests are Islam, current affairs, poetry and mental illness. I have a schizophrenia site at

I was born in England in 1940, and was educated at Solihull School in Warwickshire and Wennington School in Yorkshire. (See I left England in early 1960, and traveled through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Malaya (as it was then), and Singapore to Australia. I lived in Melbourne from late 1960 until early 1962, and worked as a tram conductor. I then went to Japan, where I found a job as a subeditor at The Japan Times. I worked with Tom Harada and John Yamanaka, who taught me the basics of journalism.

After marrying in 1967, I came to New Zealand with my wife and infant daughter in mid-1972. Until 2011, I was a subeditor at the Manawatu Standard — first in the editorial department and then in the advertising features department.

Here is one of my poems, written after a return visit to Turkey in 1990-91:


‘I’m a failed Muslim.
I drink raki now,’ he says.
A bottle twinkles
on the upturned orange box.

On the unmade bed,
a punch-drunk pillow
lurches in a sea of ruptured quilts.

‘I never pray,’ he adds,
as hawk-eyed Ataturk
retreats to an ascetic frame
and glowers at the room.

And we who are too precious
to confess our faults
feel awkward in the silence.

Alan Ireland


3 Responses

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  1. James Bowen said, on January 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for posting the pages from Jeffries, Palestine, The Reality. This is a book that needs to be much more widely read. I have various bits and pieces of it and am trying to get a copy though inter-library loans, because it seems to be regarded by contemporary authors as being the best book on the subject before WW2

    • hourglassera said, on January 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Yes, I immediately recognized its importance when I found a very tatty copy at, if I remember correctly, a garage sale here in Palmerston North, New Zealand. To ensure it would survive in good shape, I took it to a bookbinder and had it sturdily rebound. Someday, I’ll get around to posting another chapter. I sometimes think that, if you read Jeffries, you hardly need to read about subsequent events, as everything that has happened since World War II is, in a sense, a corollary of the prewar situation. The disparities in power and political acumen between the Zionists and the Palestinians ensured that the former, although numerically inferior, would capture the whole of historic Palestine and dispossess its native inhabitants. I seem to remember that George Antonius said something similar in The Arab Awakening: That there would be no compromise, and that one side would gain everything and the other side would lose everything. I don’t think he realized, though, that the losers would inevitably be the Palestinians.

  2. David Hunt said, on April 4, 2014 at 5:27 am


    As James said…Thanks for the Jeffries document posting. I found your pages after doing some research on Jeffries while reading The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed.

    If you haven’t read that particular book, it really lays out the details of the what happened with respect to the manipulations behind the scenes. As Reed was a journalist who worked for the Times, was directly involved (on the periphery) in many events, and was subsequently “hosed” by his managing editors, it is a fascinating read. It certainly forms the solid basis for far more research into the issue surrounding Zionism.

    Again, Thanks for the Jeffries post. More of the same would certainly be welcomed.


    PS: I also strongly recommend the book by Doreen Ingrams referenced in this post:

    The book author was very plugged into the issue as her father was a Home Secretary for the British government during the early 20th century. I can clearly imagine her sitting on her Daddies lap while he worked on high-level documents in his library.

    Her research has yielded an exception body of work…I’d say that it is the WikiLeaks and Snowden documents for that particular era. Everything is laid bare…in their own words.

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