Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 81 - June 2007

An interesting month was May. I started off in Rochester having been invited back by Dougie Hudson to be a judge in the ‘Folk Factor’ competition along with Simon Evans (BBC Radio Medway) and Jo Tofts (Broadstairs Folk Festival) at ‘The Sweeps’ Festival. The day I arrived my favourite uncle slipped away in a hospital near Canterbury a few hours after I had said my goodbye to him on my way to the festival. Not the best of starts certainly. My weekend took an upturn however when I realised that ‘The Dealers’, last years winners of the Folk Factor competition, were playing at the festival this year. I was interested to see how much they might have improved in 12 months and delighted by the result when I did. If you run a folk club, a folk festival, or if you simply put on the odd concert, I urge you to engage this delightful duo before they become so expensive you cannot afford them. (See ). It was for me a great pleasure to realise that we had definitely picked the right act last year; which is a little more than I can say about the winner this year. This year I was out-voted by Simon and Jo and my choice failed to make it into the final four. It will be interesting to see if they appear at Rochester next year. You will however be able to see this year’s winners at Broadstairs in August.

The second weekend found me in Northumberland at The First Clennell Hall Folk Festival (see along with David and John. This was a successful event despite dreadful weather and some programme problems which will be ironed out by next year. 2008 promises better weather and a folk festival again packed with authentic folk people like all new festivals always try to provide. So here are two very interesting and contrasting festivals at contrasting ends of the country to put into your diary for next year. Rochester ‘Sweeps’ in Kent first w/e. Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland second w/e.

So Mr Bliar is leaving government at last. I found his final summit meeting with Bush sycophantic to say the least. Smiling at each other like lost lovers who had suddenly been re-united they slapped each other’s backs to the extent I thought we might witness kisses with tongues before they had finished. Thankfully we were spared that; but we were not spared Bliar again reiterating that he would happily put the world, and Britain in particular, through the same shame of attrition even though he must surely see the terrible mess he has left our planet in. Obviously he will never admit to it. And I suppose we will end up making him a ‘Lord’. I’m ashamed to think I actually voted for him once. Later in the month we had Bush telling his brainwashed nation that fighting the terrorists in Iraq was preventing Al Qaeda again attacking Americans in America. Brilliant theory! Absolutely brilliant.

So whilst we ponder the fact that America has an idiot for a president we must also consider just how he came to power. Well it’s firmly believed by Democrats, and I have to confess to sympathizing with them, that Florida was fixed first time around. But that does not detract from the simple fact that he made it to a second term. Now I’ve been to America many times and I know that there are intelligent Americans, many with a higher IQ than myself. But there is no denying that the majority of Americans are brainwashed and under informed of foreign affairs. The enclosed movie is not a true cross section of American people. The producers of the programme have obviously picked answers to try to make America generally look stupid. This is not difficult to do. You simply screen the stupid answers. But whilst this duplicity by the producers is divisive I also have to ask how many of you reading this cannot immediately give the correct answer to every question asked?

So once you’ve seen the movie you will understand how Bush came to power.

Meanwhile Pete Seeger can now be heard on our television sets during BT advertisements. I wonder if he knows? Can anybody throw me some insight on this? Still I don’t suppose he’s bothered. The music has always been more important than money as far as he is concerned. But who would have guessed some 30 years ago that Pete’s banjo would be used for a BT advert?

Finally this month for an insight of Sea songs and shanties Dutch style you can not do better than listen to Not for the purists certainly but an insight of how the Dutch perceive sea songs. I listen every week mostly in total amazement.

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

Jun 15th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 16th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 17th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 30th (KM) Stirk Inn, Sowerby Bridge

Jul 2nd (Joe) Moreley Pensioners Club – (Life and times Paul Robeson)
Jul 5th (Joe) Thornhill Probus Club – (Valparaiso)
Jul 6th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 7th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 8th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 8th (KM) The Foresters, St Peter’s, Jersey
Jul 12th (KM) Worden Arts Centre, Leyland with Banda Celtamericana
Jul 21st (KM) Clitheroe Arts Centre again with Banda Celtamericana
Jul 29th (KM) Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge
Aug 11th KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 12th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 13th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Sep 3rd (Joe) Conservative Club Folk Club, Bacup.
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 9th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 15th (KM) Clitheroe Golf Club
Nov 18th (KM) The Open Door Folk Club, The Royal Oak, Werneth, Oldham.

Feb 2nd (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Matinee and evening).
Feb 24th (KM) Southport Folk Club.

Feb 25th (Joe) Rossett School, Harrogate – Valparaiso round the Horn
Feb 29th (Joe) Ripon Heritage Centre – Life + Timers Paul Robeson
May 9th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 10th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 11th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.

Jan 11th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare - Provisional
Jan 12th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare - Provisional


Hellooo Joe.
Glad you mentioned the fab fifteen - I don't know if you realise, but the selling of the story was a smoke screen put up by the navy and the government to steer the prying eyes as to why they were captured -
The rule book basically says that the mother ship should place itself between the boarded vessel and a likely attack from others
A. The mother ship should have its close range weapons manned and trained (another word for pointed) at the boarded vessel in case the crew are hiding a big threat that the boarding party cannot cope with.
B. Close range and maybe larger weapons trained on the waters on the other side of the mother ship any likely threat should approach.
C. The helicopter should carry out surveillance from the air.
D. The radar on the mother ship should be manned to view any other likely vessels in the area that could pose a threat.
As you know this smoke screen has now been rumbled - and enquires (what a laff) will be carried out and whoever lost the light brigade will be carpeted.
I recently spoke with an old Admiral who said to me he was disgusted at the actions of the fifteen - he said “Just imagine how you would feel if you were a Japanese prisoner of war - who under a REAL THREAT OF DEATH - only gave his name and number - and yet these lot threw their hands in the air rather than say - FUCK OFF or we'll shoot you”.

As you know I have no time for this awful - lying double standards war and the people - politicians and senior servicemen who brainwash our squaddies and sailors into thinking that they are right - & believe me they do. But if you're a service man, woman on duty - then your duty is what you do.

So the ship had no right being in the non protective position it was in, the helicopter should not have been directed to another duty and the bordering party should have stood their 'ground'.

What really needs asking is - why was the ship out of contact and who had given the instructions to not protect the boarding party and not to observe the radar picture?

Was it the Captain?
Was it the senior officer Gulf?
Was it the MOD?
Was it the Yankx?
WAS IT A SET UP to provoke this action by the moronic revolutionary guards that went
A wrong - or B maybe right in the eyes of they who are running the show.

Must go now stay peaceful - I can't find my I pod - must have been nicked by the Iranians down the caff !!

The only people that sold there stories to the news paper were part of the royal navy none of the royal marine contingent did. I didn’t read any of there harrowing tails it was probably all very dull. Thanks for the ramblings keep them coming.
Lee Barrett.


"Sicko" Is Completed and We're Off to Cannes!

It's a wrap! My new film, "Sicko," is all done and will have its world premiere this Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival. As with "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," we are honored to have been chosen by this prestigious festival to screen our work there.
My intention was to keep "Sicko" under wraps and show it to virtually no one before its premiere in Cannes. That is what I have done and, as you may have noticed if you are a recipient of my infrequent Internet letters, I have been very silent about what I've been up to. In part, that's because I was working very hard to complete the film. But my silence was also because I knew that the health care industry -- an industry which makes up more than 15 percent of our GDP -- was not going to like much of what they were going to see in this movie and I thought it best not to upset them any sooner than need be.

Well, going quietly to Cannes, I guess, was not to be. For some strange reason, on May 2nd the Bush administration initiated an action against me over how I obtained some of the content they believe is in my film. As none of them have actually seen the film (or so I hope!), they decided, unlike with "Fahrenheit 9/11," not to wait until the film was out of the gate and too far down the road to begin their attack.

Bush's Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip I took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie. These scenes involve a group of 9/11 rescue workers who are suffering from illnesses obtained from working down at Ground Zero. They have received little or no help with their health care from the government. I do not want to give away what actually happens in the movie because I don't want to spoil it for you (although I'm sure you'll hear much about it after it unspools Saturday). Plus, our lawyers have advised me to say little at this point, as the film goes somewhere far scarier than "Cuba." Rest assured of one thing: no laws were broken. All I've done is violate the modern-day rule of journalism that says, "ask no questions of those in power or your luncheon privileges will be revoked."

This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the "Sicko" premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)

I was floored when our lawyers told me this. "Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?" "Yes," was the answer. "These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?"

Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can't believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I'm an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)

I mean, folks, I have just about had it. Investigating ME because I'm trying to help some 9/11 rescue workers our government has abandoned? Once again, up is down and black is white. There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don't even need to see the one's smirk or hear the other's sneer to know who I am talking about.

But no, I'm the one who now has to hire lawyers and sneak my documentary out of the country just so people can see a friggin' movie. I mean, it's just a movie! What on earth could I have placed on celluloid that would require such a nonsensical action against me?

Ok. Scratch that.

Well, I'm on my way to Cannes right now, a copy of the movie in my bag.
Don't feel too bad for me, I'll be in the south of France for a week! But then it's back to the U.S. for a number of premieres and benefits and then, finally, a chance for all of you to see this film that I have made. Circle June 29th on your calendar because that's when it opens in theaters everywhere across the country and Canada (for the rest of the world, it opens in the fall).

I can't wait for you to see it.


Michael Moore

P.S. I will write more about what happens from Cannes. Stay tuned on my website, <> .



"Cash, cheque or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. "So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked. "No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally."


Commentating Gaffe's !

I’ve been sent 12 of the finest (unintentional) double-entendres ever aired on British TV and radio. Actually however there is a thirteenth. Some 35/40 years ago there was a programme on radio Medway called “Kent Country” and I know the introducer made a dipsy doodle on that one. I heard it myself!

1. Pat Glenn, weightlifting commentator - "And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!"

2. New Zealand Rugby Commentator - "Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl Gibson comes inside of him."

3. Ted Walsh - Horse Racing Commentator - "This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother."

4. Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977 - "Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew."

5. US PGA Commentator - "One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them ..... Oh my god!! What have I just said??"

6. Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on 'Time Team Live' said: "You'd eat beaver if you could get it."

7. A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked, "So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me
last night?" Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard.

8. Steve Ryder covering the US Masters: "Ballesteros felt much better today after a 69 yesterday."

9. Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on Look North said: "There's nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this."

10 Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports: "Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets."

11. Michael Buerk on watching Phillipa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1's UK eclipse coverage remarked: "They seem cold out there, they're rubbing each other and he's only come in his shorts."

12. Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open: "Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny, other weeks he prefers to do it by himself."

Secrets behind the number 11

I’m sure some of you will have seen this before. And to be fair it’s not particularly funny. Intriguing might be a fairer assessment.

1) New York City has 11 letters
2) Afghanistan has 11 letters.
3) Ramsin Yuseb (The terrorist who threatened to destroy the Twin Towers in 1993) has 11 letters.
4) George W Bush has 11 letters.
5) New York is the 11th state.
6) The first plane crashing against the Twin Towers was flight number 11.
7) Flight 11 was carrying 92 passengers. 9 + 2 = 11
8) Flight 77 which also hit Twin Towers, was carrying 65 passengers. 6 + 5 = 11
9) The tragedy was on September 11, or 9/11 as it is now known. 9 + 1+ 1 =11
10) The date is equal to the US emergency services telephone number 911.
12) The total number of victims inside all the hi-jacked planes was 254.
2 + 5 + 4 = 11
13) September 11 is day number 254 of the calendar year.
14) The Madrid bombing took place on 3/11/2004. 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 0 +0 +4 = 11.
15) The tragedy of Madrid happened 911 days after the Twin Towers incident.

Now open Microsoft Word and do the following:

1. Type in upper case Q33 NY. (This is the flight number of the first plane to hit one of the Twin Towers).
2. Highlight the Q33 NY.
3. Change the font size to 48.
4. Change the font to WINGDINGS

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead