Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 123 – December 2010

The recent mid-term elections in America are very worrying. They might be right for America, but the swing towards Republican, and a massive swing at that, is a worrying factor for the rest of the world. We’ve endured ‘Bush the Lunatic’ and we’re trying as hard as we can across this planet to clean up the mess he’s left behind and now we are faced with the very real prospect of having ‘Palin the Idiot’ as the next president of the most powerful nation on the planet. Frankly it doesn’t bode well at all. It was interesting to see Bush the Lunatic on TV recently talking about his sadness that America never found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He said to admit attacking Iraq was a mistake, even though they obviously weren’t there, would be seriously undermining his authority – and like WC Blair he still believes it was the right thing to do! Well he would; he’s a lunatic. But even lunatics occasionally do something right. Idiots on the other hand are another kettle of fish altogether. To have an idiot as president of the strongest nation, someone who thinks North Korea is an ally of America, would mean having somebody completely deranged and completely unable to get anything right. Oh dear. It might yet happen. Indeed I think it’s going to. She’ll win if only because America is screaming out for a female president. God (if there is one) help us all.

Another bunch of really interesting letters this month. Again I’m being labeled a racist, or at least I think I am, which I find most intriguing. Tim Broadbent writes a wonderful letter from the green fields and hills of sunny south west France. I urge you to read it. A man who visits and helps condemned (normally black) prisoners in Texas jails, condemns me not only for being a racist but for befriending an ex criminal black man who served his time and then lived a peaceful non-eventful life where the only crime he committed was to smoke a bit of weed. On oxymoron there I think. Perhaps he didn’t deserve any friends at all. Tim also wants to send “the sheep-shaggers” of the Falkland Islands to New Zealand and Australia whether the Falklanders or the Australians or the New Zealanders want it or not. Interesting argument there!

But I’m delighted to be stirring up a discussion. The Ramblings would be pointless without them.

In the 1970’s Irish Americans living mainly in Boston and New York financed the IRA in Ireland and as a consequence many British soldiers lost their lives. They (the Brits) were in those days, as they were in Iraq and arguably Afghanistan today, fighting an enemy they shouldn’t have been fighting in the first place. Whilst the actions of the IRA cannot be condoned things were exacerbated beyond control by Bloody Sunday and fuelled constantly by the unemployment of catholic people in Northern Ireland where Protestants were always but always favoured before Catholics. 30 years later we now have a situation where Muslims are sending money to Pakistan to finance Al-Qaeda, and it’s very possible that your favourite curry restaurant is part of the plot. Now these are facts, I’m not stirring up racial hatred and I’m certainly not being racist and it tickles my private parts somewhat when I get letters from the leafy downs of southern England and the green, green landscapes of southern France that tell me I’m a racist when the only Muslim’s they meet are the kind and affectionate sort that mean no danger to anyone. (Unless, heaven forbid, of course their favourite curry restaurant is sending money to terrorists behind their backs). I don’t know the exact statistics (I’m sure somebody will write and tell me) but let’s assume that one in every seven men you meet is a homosexual, or one in every seven men you meet is left handed, it doesn’t make any difference to the argument. You cannot have 6 male friends and realizing that as none of them are homosexual, then you must be. Likewise you cannot put 49 men into a room and state categorically that 7 of them are left handed and 7 of them are homosexual. Quite apart from the ridiculous situation that one or two of them might be both left handed and homosexual, it’s obvious that all of them might be either, or neither. But the more men you put into a room the more chances you will have of finding a homosexual or a left handed man. Now I live in Northern England where there are thousands upon thousands of Muslim people, the majority of whom are honest law abiding folk who mean no harm to anyone, but where nonetheless the July bombers who attacked the London tube and bus services were spawned. And if you don’t live in this environment you cannot argue about it. This is simply a culture problem and it has to be addressed. We rightly allow and encourage Muslim people to build their own places of worship but we should not encourage them to be sexist, racist, or to openly buck the system to rob the coffers by illegally claiming benefits they should not have. Now I know white people do all these things as well – they too should be educated or severely caned. But I find it difficult how I can be labeled racist when I’m only stating facts. We now have schools in Great Britain openly teaching young children not only that it is right to cut hands and feet off those who thieve, but actually teaching them how to do it. According to the BBC we have schools who invite Muslim clerics into schools to teach young children that it is correct to stone women to death if necessary when they offend their laws. Can this be condoned? The men are always innocent. I have had many friends who were non-white and I am not a racist. I have to confess I don’t know any Muslim people socially, but that’s because they don’t want to mix with me. Does that make them racist? Or does it mean they would simply find me boring and uneducated in their way of living? Perhaps the stones in my back garden aren’t large enough. You can be as ultra-liberal as you like, but don’t call me a racist for simply printing facts.

Rod Liddle (my idol – no he doesn’t play for Charlton Athletic, he writes in the Sunday Times) had this to say as part of his weekly column on November 14th.
A very boring columnist from a low circulation newspaper said on the radio that politicians had no right to complain about Muslim women being stoned to death.
A Tory councilor listening in, outraged, used Twitter to suggest that maybe the boring columnist should be stoned to death instead. Even people like the boring columnist, who have lime jelly for a brain, could see that this was not a serious suggestion.
Incredibly, however, the councilor was immediately arrested on suspicion of sending an offensive message.
I wonder if this would have happened had the columnist been very boring and very white, rather than being very boring and Asian?
He also had this to say about the French the weekend after England lost at home to them in a friendly soccer match.
It’s never nice to lose to France, no matter what the circumstances; they are the most appalling people and it is not pleasant to think of them sitting in their horrible little arrondissements toasting their success on Wednesday evening with the traditional French activities of alcohol, garlic and sexual intercourse almost certainly in that order.
How about it Tim? Is Rod Liddle also a racist or are you gripped by a peculiarly myopic political correctness which sees one side of the argument but not the other? Letters from Sussex also invited.

Meanwhile here in Britain we are suddenly gripped with the wonderful idea of having Prince William as our next king instead of Charles. Guys, it’s never gonna happen. And when we suddenly find we have Queen Camilla the Gloucester Horse sitting on the throne next to him I’m going to join old Tim Broadbent somewhere for a right stiff drink; and no games of chess mind – I’m not up to serious concentration these days. Just bring on the dancing girls.

Now here’s an idea for the perfect airport security device forwarded to me by an American, Richard Weed, whom I’ve never met, but who seems to be an avid reader. He claims (tongue in cheek) that the Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at airports. It's a booth you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. They see this as a win-win for everyone, with none of the whining about racial profiling. It also would eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials. Justice would be swift.
Case closed!
You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system: "Attention standby passengers - we now have a seat available on flight number ____. Shalom."

I guess the booth will have to be self cleaning. I’m not certain (well actually I am) whether I prefer having my private bits looked at by a complete stranger, or being expected to walk into a booth with mangled body parts all around. The smell might be a little unsettling, and if Asian he/she would probably have had a curry for dinner. Perhaps rather than using detonation they could fire stones at the individual and then haul them out whole. I think I would prefer that.

Stop it Joe; you really are too naughty this month!

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

Dec 6th (Joe) Pudsey Women’s Institute, Pudsey House, Market Place, Pudsey.
Dec 16th (KM) Pusser’s Rum Christmas Party, Castle Donington, Debyshire.

Jan 11th (Joe) Burley in Wharfdale Probus Club – Valparaiso round the Horn
Jan 13th (KM) Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. 8.30pm
Feb 5th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Valparaiso round the Horn) 3pm
Feb 5th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Valparaiso round the Horn) 7.30pm
Feb 8th (Joe) Fox Pub, Main Street, Thorner, LS14 3DX. – Valparaiso round the Horn
Feb 24th (KM) Tremayne Hall, Mylor, Falmouth, Cornwall 7.30pm
Feb 25th (KM) The Ring of Bells, Wadebridge, Cornwall. 8.30pm
Feb 26th (KM) The Market Theatre, Ledbury.
Mar 6th (KM) Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge. 9pm
Mar 19th (KM) Rhos-y-gilwen, The Oak Hall, Nr Rhoshill, Pembrokeshire.
Apr 8th (KM) Folly Bridge Inn, Abingdon Rd, Oxford (Folk Club). OX1 4PD
Apr 9th (KM) The Quay Theatre, Sudbury, Suffolk.
Apr 10th (KM) The White Horse, Edwardstone. 2pm
May 1st (KM) Liverpool Shanty Festival
May 2nd (KM) Liverpool Shanty Festival
May 13th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland
May 14th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland
May 15th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland
Jun 17th (KM) Falmouth Shanty Festival
Jun 18th (KM) Falmouth Shanty Festival
Jun 19th (KM) Falmouth Shanty Festival
Jun 25th (KM) Wirral Folk Festival
Jun 26th (KM) Wirral Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 27th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 29th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 14th (Joe) Barnsley Probus Club. – Life and times of Paul Robeson.
Sep 28th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge
Sep 30th (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 1st (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 2nd (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 26th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge
Nov 30th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge

Jun 22nd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival – Provisional
Jun 23rd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival - Provisional
Jun 24th (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival - Provisional

Fancy a bit of Kimber’s Men?


Hi Joe.
I have been lucky enough to visit The Falklands and they are fiercely British. It feels and looks like The Hebrides and the climate is the same as the North West of England. They are lovely hospitable people. You would never guess you were on the other side of the world. They definitely belong to the UK there's not a trace of Spanish. The towns are as a normal UK town is with traffic lights and signs etc. Although I saw no speed cameras. It was eerie but extremely cozy.
Jill Fielding. {Band} xx.

Last montgh; a great edition of Codger's.
Hope all is well.
Phil Cooper (USA)

Joe, me old lad, isn't it perhaps time to change 'Ramblings' to 'Rantings'? Is this really the work of the same bloke with whom I used to enjoy (despite getting thrashed every time but I put that down to alcohol) late night, post gig, games of chess all those years ago? I honestly never thought the racist diatribes and now jingoistic claptrap would reach such a crescendo. Your defence of the realm appears to have attained Bush-like proportions. I'm sure you wouldn't be averse to running the old union jack (no, no capitals) up the friggin' flagpole at every school in the land and having the pupils bellow 'god save the queen' (idem) in order to save their poor souls from the onslaught of Foreigners. You're presumably OK though with the idea of white, shanty-singing (a cheap one there, but probably true) colonialists imposing their dubious western values on foreign cultures. Between them the Brits, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portugese carved up just about every exploitable corner of the planet and one would be pushed to agree that the outcome was laudable. Everyone, naturally, is out to improve their daily lot and with the modern day ease of international travel and communication the result is as inevitable as it is rapid and enduring. So what? Terribly sorry to disappoint you but not every Muslim corner shop owner (who stays open all hours) is a rampant terrorist in the making. I drink coffee and chat with my Muslim acquaintances (some of whom have HUGE BEARDS) here in France and they haven't blown me up yet. One of them even plays drums (very well) and drinks beer so he's probably a prime target for the integrationist milicia - probably funded by the CIA.
The problem down here, in my corner of southern France, is not the Muslims but the innate racism of the (older) locals, spurred on by a security mongering government. The police don't help of course and if I were a Muslim I'd be mightily pissed of at the constant ID and driving checks which are imposed in far greater number than on the 'indigenous' (whatever that is) population. Of course there are bad apples in every barrel but the intolerance of local farmers in particular, happy to have a willing, cheap and capable work force whilst slagging them off unmercifully is not only inadmissible but downright risible in its pointlessness. They just ain't gonna disappear back to Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco; and why the hell should they. Voilà my reason for taking French nationality in order to add one small voice of what I hope is reason come voting time in an area that actually boasts up to 65% national front support in some towns.
And while we're at it, spare a thought for the poor French communities (mostly in the south west) which now have cultural terrorism imposed on them - entire villages of Brits with their ghastly tearooms, pubs, English film nights, fish and chips, Marmite, newspapers, even folk music! I mean, how DARE they. One local village near me (the endearingly named Méjannes-le-Clap) has a 100% Dutch suburb, complete with Dutch street names and a Dutch supermarket. I bet you'd love that in Halifax. But it's OK of course because of their pale complexion.
In order to ease the UK (and European for that matter) population explosion and make everyone happy I have a plan. All those who buy holiday homes abroad - presumably because they like the foreign country better than l'il old Britain (a recent survey showed that an incredible 80% of British residents wanted to live in another country - now at least THAT wouldn't happen in France!) should have their British homes expropriated at the market price and let out at decent rents to the new arrivals. Happy Brits, happy immigrants. There; problem solved.
And of COURSE those we elect to govern us will lie through their teeth and make millions off our backs; human nature condensed in the crucible of power takes on a particularly pungent odour. To the politicians you could add your Royal Band of Fools - a dynasty so out of touch with reality that it really is time they were consigned to Mr. Barnum's Circus. How a nation can still mourn a monumentally rich (at who's expense? - I don't think she left £43m from working in a fucking kindergarten) jet-setter who had the misfortune to snuff it in a late-night car crash (and heaven knows what those investigations have cost the British tax-payer) beats me. Hooray, she left about 2% of her embezzled riches to charity. We're not much better off with that ignominious, megalomaniac little shit Sarko but at least he doesn't set himself out to be a tourist attraction. Yet.
The defence budget? Bring it down to about 1/6d and spend the rest on education (WITHOUT public schools), a return to a Bevan-like health system (WITHOUT private health insurance), viable sources of sustainable energy and decent housing.
The Falklands? Buy the sheep shaggers a plot in New Zealand or Oz and flog the bloody place to Argentina in return for sharing the oil reserves which lie beneath. Just how far can a national boundary be stretched?
And if Johnny Edgecombe, endearing a character as he probably was, had been a Muslim I wonder if you would have been quite so generous in your appreciation of a violent drug-dealer.
Sorry old chap, but were it not for the serious aspect of the contents, some of the opening lines of your monthly pamphlet would make me laugh a lot more than the closing 'Funnies'.
Yours amicably as ever, without boundaries, flags or national anthems.
Tim Broadbent.

Dear Joe,
Regarding your anti-French joke last month. I feel that this shouldn't pass unquestioned and should be recognised as not just republican propaganda against the democrats, but as a deeply offensive tirade against the French who, quite rightly refused to back Bush and Blair in their criminal action in Iraq. Anybody who has any knowledge of the first and second world wars, will be aware that the French fought bravely in both of these horrendous episodes of the 20th century. Had it not been for the Channel we too would have been overun and talk of fighting on the beaches etc., although a great moral booster at the time, means little when whole villages would have been erased for the death of one German soldier.
Legendary quotes on France such as
French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney (AP), Paris , March 5, 2003
The French Government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.
Really Joe – It’s not worth commenting on.
Paul Ryder.

Hi Joe
Thank you for your Ramblings 122.
Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse we now have the nightmare of an Anglo/French defense Alliance.
God help us.
Quentin Hood.

TO: Nearly everyone on my email list…
Internet bullying has frequently been in the news during the last few years, but most recently it has attracted special attention because it has resulted in a wave of teen suicides. When I mentioned it to my son, he asked if I had seen this video (link below). It apparently has been widely viewed, but I hadn’t heard about it, and maybe you haven’t either.
I can’t imagine any way this message could be delivered more powerfully. It is remarkable that this occurred at a town meeting in Texas, possibly not the most welcoming environment, but possibly the type of environment where the message might be most needed. I challenge anyone to watch it without being moved by it.
You will notice that most of the audience gives the speaker a standing ovation at the end. You will also notice that one or two seem to be completely unmoved. I truly do not understand these people.
From Richard Weed.


There's a yellow toad wandering around in the forest kind of p…d off because he doesn't want to be yellow.
Life would be easier if he were brown like the other toads... He'd be less visible to predators for one thing.
Anyway... This yellow toad bumps into a fairy godmother. "Fairy godmother, please make me brown like the other toads," he begs her. "I'm hacked off being so visible to predators."
"Okay" says the fairy godmother, who whips out her magic wand and goes:
"Abracapokus! You're brown!"
The toad looks down and sees that he is brown ! Except..... for his weenie, which is still yellow.
"Hang about lady," he says to the fairy godmother, "My pecker's still yellow!"
"Yeah, well I don't do weenies," she says, "You'll have to go see the Wizard of Oz for that." So the toad thanks her and hops off on his way.
There is also a purple bear wandering about the very same woods. As luck would have it, he encounters the very same fairy godmother (yes okay it's a coincidence, but it's true).
"Fairy Godmother! You're just the person I need!" says the purple bear, "I can't pull any bearesses cos they don't want to be seen with me on account of the hunters. They can spot me from a mile off."
Being a fairly nice fairy godmother, she takes out her magic wand. "Oh for goodness sake, what is the matter with you lot round here?" she says. And with that, she yells: "Pokuscadabra! You're brown!"
- The bear looks down and sees that he is, in fact, brown. Except for his
goolies, which remain purple.
"Hold up sweetheart!", he says to the fairy godmother, "My goolies are still purple!"
"Yeah, well I don't do those goolie things," she replies, "You'll have to go see the Wizard of Oz for that."
"Well that's just dandy, innit?" the bear replies, "How the hell do I find the Wizard of Oz?"
"Easy," says the fairy godmother as she flew off..................
"Just follow the yellow-dick toad…”


The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment:
Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it.
The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories.
There were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved.
But then the teacher realized, much to her dismay, that only Janie was left.
Janie, do you have a story to share?'
''Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy.
She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit.
She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol, and a survival knife.
She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops.
She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands.
''Good Heavens,' said the horrified teacher.
'What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?
"Stay away from Mommy when she's been drinking."


An Frenchman walks into a pub. The bartender asks him, “what’ll you have?” The man says, “Give me three pints of Guinness please.” (In French obviously)
So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third until they’re gone.
He then orders three more.
The bartender says, “Sir, I know you like them cold.
You don’t have to order three at a time.
I can keep an eye on it and when you get low I’ll bring you a fresh cold one.”
The man says, “You don’t understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the States.
We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we’d still drink together.
So right now, my brothers have three Guinness Stouts too, and we’re drinking together.
The bartender thought that was a wonderful tradition.
Every week the man came in and ordered three beers.
Then one week he came in and ordered only two.
He drank them and then ordered two more.
The bartender said to him, “I know what your tradition is, and I’d just like to say that I’m sorry that one of your brothers died.”
The man said, “Oh, me brothers are fine. It’s me! I’ve quit drinking!”


Apparently a true one!

Outside England 's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, it's parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.
The fees were for cars (£1.40),for buses (about £7).
Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn't show up; so the Zoo Management called the City Council and asked it to send them another parking agent.
The Council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the Zoo's own responsibility.
The Zoo advised the Council that the attendant was a City employee.
The City Council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the City payroll.
Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain or France or Italy ... is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about £560 per day -- for 25 years.
Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over 7 million pounds .... and no one even knows his name.

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead