Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 105 – June 2009

I suppose there are some honest politicians out there somewhere; but I would guess not an awful lot and the recent spate of discoveries that the majority of our Members of Parliament are on the make in a dishonest fashion begs the question; are they dishonest before they enter parliament or does the job simply encourage it? I sometimes wonder (when I’ve got time to waste) just how politicians think, or indeed if they think at all. Here in Sowerby Bridge the open market has moved home and the vacated area made a perfect car park thus alleviating and lessening car parking problems throughout the town. What did Calderdale Council do? They spent a few thousand of our tax payer’s pounds erecting a huge metal fence around the site. It will eventually be a new swimming pool. But in the meantime it’s an empty space that could have been used to better effect. Barmpots the lot. So here we are every 5 years or so voting a bunch of partly intelligent no-hopers into office on huge salaries and they find ways of increasing their income in an illegal fashion. Did they not think the house of cards would one day come tumbling down? Obviously not! So they can’t be that bright! Just how the electorate will respond remains to be seen. I have a huge fear that there will be a swing to the right and the BNP will benefit. One of the problems about the BNP (other than them being fascists of course) is that at times they quote facts that can only be true; which will attract voters from both Labour and Conservative who would otherwise stay faithful to the main party’s. For example – if Muslims and non-Muslims continue to breed at the present rate then the Muslim population will eventually outstrip the non-Muslim population in Great Britain. Already at my wife’s old school (a Church of England school please note) the Muslim intake of children now outstrips the non-Muslim children and as a consequence my grand-daughter Jasmine has more Muslims in her class than non Muslim; and I’m wondering, if this trend continues, just what are we going to do with all the forthcoming taxi drivers, Asian restaurateurs and corner shops?

But having already composed and typed the above I was today by coincidence sent the following U Tube link that I feel we should all have a look at. Over 8 million people have viewed it already and the statistics make chilling reading if, like me, you are of non-Muslim persuasion. And whilst I am prepared to believe that the piece is simply white non-Muslim propaganda and scare mongering to boot; it should still be taken seriously insofar as my own experiences here in Halifax (the fact that we have a Church of England school where Muslims outnumber non Muslims) prove that the piece has substance. Your comments would be warmly welcomed. So please do take a snifty at ……..

On a lighter note the new Kimber’s Men CD ‘In Port’ will hopefully be available in June. Please send a cheque for £16 (including post and packing) to Kimber’s Men @ Providence Place, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire. HX6 1BA. The album has been recorded live in concert is a double album with 40 songs. Value for money or what? Cheque should be made payable to Kimber’s Men. For a quick demonstration look at ……………

Meanwhile I’m contemplating issuing a DVD of my last American concert filmed by Bill Zorn at the Phoenix Folk Club in Arizona. For a preview or two take a look at …..
Comments would be appreciated. (And yes I know I’ve put on weight!).

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

Jun 12th (KM) Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival
Jun 13th (KM) Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival
Jun 14th (KM) Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival
Jun 18th (KM) Topic Folk Club, Bradford.
Jul 24th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Jul 25th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Jul 26th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 29th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 30th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 31st (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 5th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 6th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea

Sep 9th (Joe) North Bradford Men’s Forum. - Valparaiso
Sep 10th (Joe) Heckmondwyke Supper Club. - Robeson
Sep 11th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 13th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 18th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 19th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 20th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival

Sep 29th (Joe) Leeds Elmete Probus Club, New Inn, Eccup Lane, Bramhope. – Valparaiso
Oct 9th (KM) Clarinbridge Community Festival, County Galway, Ireland.
Oct 10th (KM) Clarinbridge Community Festival, County Galway, Ireland.
Oct 11th (KM) Clarinbridge Community Festival, County Galway, Ireland.
Oct 19th (KM) The Bridge Folk Club, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Oct 25th (KM) Scrag End Folk Club, Shoulder of Mutton, Oakthorpe, Leicestershire

Nov 14th (Joe) The News from Nowhere Club, Waltham Forest. – Robeson Lecture.
Dec 3rd (KM) Meadow Close School, Shelf, Halifax. HX3
May 14th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
May 15th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
May 16th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
Aug 20th (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 21st (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 22nd (KM) Fano – Denmark
Sep 24th (KM) Exmouth
Sep 25th (KM) The Castle Inn, Combe Martin, High Street, North Devon


A chap called Georg Wilhelm Hegel wrote "What experience and history teach is this - that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it".
I guess, looking back over the centuries, we can find lots of examples which have a distinct message for our politicians today!
Politicians must be "forbidden to touch or handle silver or gold. Upon this their safety and that of the state depends. If they acquire private property in land, houses, or money, they will become farmers and men of business instead of guardians, and harsh tyrants instead of partners in their dealings with their fellow citizens, with whom they will live on terms of mutual hatred and suspicion; they will be more afraid of internal revolt than
external attack, and be heading fast for destruction that will overwhelm themselves and the whole community" ¬
Plato's Republic.
I never really cared much for Oliver Cromwell, but I have to say that this wee speech if said to today's bunch of grasping lowlifes would just about hit the mark!
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, and are yourselves gone!
So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!
Oliver Cromwell dismissing the Rump Parliament in 1653
Dave Forshaw.

Hi Joe,
Writing belatedly to tell you how nice it was to see you and Nora on your recent US tour. I *do* hope you'll return. Nora remembered me from our having met during your previous visits to Philadelphia, but I don't think she placed me as having stayed at your place in Sowerby Bridge a couple times when I used to tour in the UK.
Warm wishes to you both,
Saul Broudy
Philadelphia, PA USA

I must say that Swine flu must be a pig of a thing to get........but to talk of it affecting festival attendances; quite frankly I don't think you have ever said anything rasher.
Best wishes
Steve O’Kane


She was standing in the kitchen preparing soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, wearing only the 'T' shirt that she normally slept in.
As I walked in almost awake, she turned and said softly, 'You've got to make love to me this very moment.'
My eyes lit up and I thought, 'I am either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day.
Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave it my all. Right there on the kitchen table.
Afterwards she said, 'Thanks,' and returned to the stove, her 'T' shirt still around her neck.
A little puzzled, I asked, 'What was that all about?'
She explained, 'The egg timer's broken.'

A drunken man who smelled like a stale beer mat, sat down on a subway next to a priest.
The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading.
After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, 'Say Father, What causes arthritis?'
The priest replies, 'My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and the lack of a bath.'
The drunk muttered in response, 'Well, I'll be damned,' then returned to his paper.
The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. 'I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had Arthritis?'
The drunk answered, 'I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.'

One fine spring day, a young monk arrived at the monastery of a very strict, orthodox order. He was assigned to help the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand in elaborate, illuminated script.
He noticed, however, that all of the monks were copying from 'copies', not from the original manuscripts. The new monk goes to the Abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies through time.
The head monk said, 'Well, yes, we have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.'
The Abbot goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives, in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and the old man doesn't reappear.
The young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. When he arrives, he finds the Abbot banging his head against the wall and wailing 'They missed out the R ! They missed out the R ! They missed out the R!'
By now his forehead is all bloodied and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk approaches the Abbot. 'What's wrong father?!'
With a choking voice, the old man finally replies, 'The word was...

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Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead