Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 49 - October 2004

People from the other side of the Atlantic, in justifying the attack on Iraq, keep on throwing me the same old chestnut! What would have happened to Britain if America had not joined WW2 in 1942? Apparently there is a connection – although frankly I fail to see it. The question is asked implying that Germany would have won the war, which, to be fair, is a likely scenario. Of course it is impossible to determine exactly what might have happened. We can however assume with some accuracy a few things that would not have happened and surmise on the alternatives. So let’s assume Germany won the war. For a start the state of Israel would never have been formed. This would have avoided the tension that now exists in the Middle East. Of course Iraq has proved that not all Arab states can live peacefully side by side and it is almost impossibly awful to try to imagine the monstrosities that would have befallen even more of the innocent Jewish race had Hitler won the day.

As a lot of Irish people sympathized with Hitler it can be assumed that the IRA would never have waged a 30 year war against Britain. We can safely say, with a Nazi state in England, that the influx of Caribbean and Muslim people that followed WW2 would not have happened. This would have been a terrible pity as they have added a great deal to our culture and whilst it is fair to assume that 99% of world terrorists today are Muslims it is not reasonable to assume that 99% of Muslims are terrorists. We must still embrace the Muslim people. Indeed it is more important that we do so today than ever before. On a lighter note we would never have experienced the delights of Asian food and we would still be living on a diet of cabbage and potatoes. That wonderful animal ‘The Bradford Curry’ would never have been invented!

America of course only joined the war in 1942 because their hand had been forced by the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbour. For three years America had done its best to stay out. I suppose America joining the conflict was inevitable at some time as the American government must have realized that a total Nazi Europe would pose an incredible threat. Germany was far in advance of the rest of the world in both rocket and nuclear science. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington were probably in Hitler’s long term sights, and another awful war would have broken out with America taking a dreadful hiding all along the East coast. So whilst America would never have put the first man on the moon they would have understood what it is like to be on the front line. Had America left it any later to join WW2 the German scientists, with additional months of technology, might well have had the power not only to invent nuclear weapons but also to deploy them. They would hardly have used them on Britain because of fall out drifting back to the motherland. But America would have been a different proposition. Britain anyway would have been defeated by this time.

I’m now 63 years of age and as a white Aryan male I would have been 5 had the war been lost in 1946. I would have been quickly brainwashed to believe in Nazi ideals and my life right now in 2004, assuming I survived the war between Europe and America, might well have been very cozy. Indeed I might have been a high paid member of the propaganda team! Fortunately this is all conjecture and whilst possibly foolish it’s not all altogether impossible. America would have lost this war, as they have many others since, due to the nuclear advantage fascist Europe held over the Americans.

But does the fact that America was right (if a little slow) in 1942 give them carte-blanche authority to attack any other nation it chooses to for the next 60/70 years or more? I think not. I would have thought that the American politicians of today would have learnt from Korea and Vietnam; two wars they jumped head long into and lost. (And I’m not forgetting that Britain thought they could march into Korea; and Egypt when the Suez crisis broke. This is not an outright attack on America or the American people). Yet still the American public vote into power politicians who will lead them, and now the world, into disaster after disaster.

And where will it all end? Well seeing as I’ve led you on this fanciful, but not altogether impossible change of history, I’ll tell you. And guess what? You are not going to like it! The world is heading towards WW3. Indeed it might already have started. By unnecessarily attacking Iraq and embarking on an unjustified and illegal war both Great Britain and America have fanned the flames of discontent. We here in Britain are every much as guilty as the Americans.

History has proved, from the times of the Crusades onwards, that England is a nasty little blood thirsty country hell bent on inflicting our ideals onto others. My hands drip with blood as much as any American. Although I blame the French myself! If they had not invaded England (and won – that’s the bit that really rankles) in 1066 I’m sure we would have been a peace loving nation avoiding all wars and conflicts for time immemorial.

Will mankind live to see another 2,000 years? I very much doubt it; and if it does the world will be so blown apart that modern technology will have given way to times similar to life before Christ. And guess what? And you are really not going to like this! There will be a new Messiah. You see mankind needs to invent Gods (they always have). Gods only exist in the minds of mankind as a wonderful excuse for war with those who disagree with the aggressor, and of course as a tool to keep law and order at home. I’m sorry you are really not going to like this. The new Messiah will be a chap called, wait for it, brace yourselves for this……… He will be called Osama bin Laden and he will be worshipped as a leader of men who fought back against huge dynasties of power. The man whose disciples flew winged machines into the temples of a mystic country called America, upturned the tables of the money lenders, and was persecuted for his beliefs. If you believe in re-incarnation you might be able to read all about it for yourselves in the ‘Holy Libel’ in the year ‘2004 of Our Laden’. Of course you will only be able to read about it if you are a man. Women will not be educated, they will be second class citizens and earning a miniscule wage for doing a man’s job. See, it sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Discombobulated? Get on with it!

Meanwhile, back in the present, Tony Blair continues to tell us lies! Apparently we face a new war in Iraq! Well excuse me, could we finish the first one first? How gullible does Blair think this nation is? He’s done his best to take our minds from Iraq by pushing on with the hunting issue and now we are about to become involved in a second war! Come off it Tony, you start an illegal war, you shame us before the world, and now you want to invent another one! Get real man! The Iraq war has simply entered a second phase. The third phase will involve Muslims attacking London, Manchester, Leeds and any town larger than Crewkerne with suicide bombers. Come back to planet Earth Tony, admit what you have done, resign and let somebody with a bit of savvy take over control. Perhaps then we can avoid WW3. Somehow however, together with Bush, I think you’ve already gone too far. Far too far.

Admittance that you have made, belated as it is, that you invaded Iraq simply to defeat the country whether they had Weapons of Mass Destruction or not has come a little too late to avoid the terrible conflict to come. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and thus were in no way threatening any other country. Our war was illegal. Admit that. And please don’t start bleating on about the under-trodden Iraqi and saving them from persecution when they are no better off now than they were then.

Butch Hawes, the brother of Bess Hawes, wrote the song U.A.W.C.I.O on a train one day whilst traveling in 1942 from Gary Indiana to Chicago. For the uninitiated U.A.W is the abbreviation for United Automobile Workers and C.I.O for Congress of Industrial Organisation. It is without any doubt my favourite pro-war song. Butch Hawes was a member of the Detroit Almanac Singers. The original Almanacs based in New York were Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Woody Guthrie, Millard Lampbell, Bess Hawes and at times anybody else who cared (or was invited) to join them. As a loosely formed group, who rehearsed on stage, they spawned similar groups in other parts of America. Even Burl Ives sang with them, although he was to denounce the association as a youthful aberration when McCarthy came calling some ten years later. There were millions out of work in America when the Second World War started for America. The Almanac singers, in their various formations, were touring America pushing for better working conditions, holidays with pay and imploring companies and workers alike to form unions. What I really love about this song is the nearly awful last verse! However at the time the ideal of forming unions was so important it had become an obsession with some, and the very thought of turning fascist Germany into a country with unions must have been very appealing. The Second World War actually solved America’s unemployment situation, so perhaps I can throw the old chestnut back across the Atlantic. Where would America be today if we hadn’t begged them to join the war? Answers with no less than 200 words please – this is an important issue!

I was hanging round a defense town one day
When I thought I overheard a soldier say
“Every tank in my camp
Has the U.A.W. stamp
And I’m U.A.W. too, I’m proud to say”

(Chorus) It’s that U.A.W.C.I.O makes that army roll and go
Turning out the defense tanks, the airplanes every day
It’s that U.A.W.C.I.O makes that army roll and go
Puts wheels on the USA

I was there when the union came to town
I was there when old Henry Ford went down
I was standing by gate four
When I heard the people roar
“They ain’t gonna kick the auto workers around”

I was there on that cold December day
When we heard about Pearl Harbor far away
I was down in Cadilac Square
When the people rallied there
To put those plans for pleasure cars away

There’ll be a union label in Berlin
When the union boys in uniform roll in
And rolling in the ranks
Will be U.A.W. tanks
Push Hitler out and roll the unions in.

PS. If you want to know the tune you can book me! Either telephone 01422-833659, or write by email, or look up my web site >

Talking of the McCarthy era; I was disappointed to see that America turned Cat Stevens away having diverted the plane to Maine before deporting him back to England. It seems a great pity that the American government is so paranoid that it refuses to allow an innocent Muslim ex pop singer to visit for a few weeks. I remember back in the evil days of McCarthy that Ewan MacColl was banned from visiting America. And why divert the plane to Maine? Why not simply allow it to arrive at its original destination? Did they think that Cat Steven was a human bomb and if so did they also think that the people of Maine are more disposable than others? Tell me is Maine Democratic?

Oct 15th (Joe) Shield Hall, Southampton – with Shep Woolley, Amazing Mr Smith, Paul Downes.
Oct 16th (Joe) Shep Woolley’s 60th Birthday Party - Portsmouth
Oct 18th (Joe) The Three Tuns, Staines
Oct 26th (Joe) The Calder Probus Club – Life and times of Paul Robeson (10am)
Nov 11th (KM) Topic Folk Club, Bradford
Nov 20th (KM) The Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax
Nov 24th (Joe) Sandholme Fold Res Home, Hipperholme – Life + Times P Robeson
Dec 14th (Joe) Barwick in Elmet Probus Club- Valparaiso Round the Horn 10am!
Dec 15th (Joe) Savile Probus Club Christmas Luncheon, The Cricket Club, Elland.
Jan 10th (Joe) Todmorden Ladies Probus Club – Valparaiso round the Horn
Jan 13th (Joe) Topic Folk Club, Bradford – Life and Times of Paul Robeson
Jan 19th (Joe) Sowerby Bridge Probus Club – Life and Times of Paul Robeson (10am)
Jan 26th (Joe) The Cross Keys, Uppermill
Feb 5th (KM) The Square Chapel Halifax
Feb 10th (Joe) The Square Chapel Halifax – The life and times of Paul Robeson
Jun 1st (Joe) Sowerby Bridge Concert Hall – Valparaiso round the Horn 10am!
Jun 18th (Joe+KM). Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (All day)
Jun 19th (Joe+KM). Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (All day)
Sep 2nd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 3rd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Oct 10th (Joe) Harden WI., St Saviour’s, Harden, Bradford – Valparaiso round the Horn
Nov 18th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 19th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 20th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 23rd (Joe) Whitkirk Probus Club, Leeds (10.30am) – Valparaiso round the Horn
Apr 29th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
Apr 30th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester


Still don't get it do you Joe?
The US is fed up with letting others foul things up royally by being themselves and talking much whilst doing nothing. That is compromising, synergy seeking, principle-free, sophisticated world wise, "realpolitik" Europeans; who, when they foul things up royally, call for Mama US. The US lives lost in taking over the ball from failed European efforts for World Wars I, II and Vietnam, were only justified because of the European argument, "help us."
Course there's the viewpoint not shared by the ghosts of the "Old Bolsheviks," that we were not doing the right thing in checking the advances of the Chekists; but those folks also believe in Santa Claus, or at least his red suit.
Bush has the capability to make decisions. He sees a problem and attempts to deal with it, a rather rare occurrence in the talkshops which revolve between Strasbourg, Brussels and wherever else they can find a spa who bills to EC credit cards.
So go on being sophisticated, that profound background of the British Common Law and the "special relationship" have made your freedom of expression possible, and will - at least in the case of the UK - probably continue to defend it.
You are welcome,
Pat Waggaman. (Valparaiso – Chile)
PS Heard a great one yesterday. One of my guys was talking to an EC bureaucrat who repeated the following, "Know what the problem of a Wednesday meeting is?"
The answer was, "It spoils a nice weekend."

The President’s speech at the Republican National Convention was excellent at the emotional level in that it put the best possible spin on the worst possible situation, but it also engaged in some revisionist history. There are certain unalterable facts that just won’t go away.
After the attack of September 11, George Bush had the support of Republicans, Democrats, and most civilized nations to bring the known perpetrator of that act to justice. But something went dreadfully wrong, some impulsive decisions were made at the highest levels of government, and actions were taken that most decent people would consider distinctly un-American. By misdirecting the response to Iraq and mismanaging that response terribly, this president has done irreparable harm to America’s stature and future, while Bin Laden remains free with increased determination and ample resources to continue plotting his attacks. Are we really safer now? I wouldn’t count on it.
The Bush administration has an extremely poor track record. They were not only caught off guard by the attacks of September 11, they totally botched the response by starting a war in Iraq instead of pursuing Bin Laden and bringing him to justice. Our actions have not only inflamed the passions of our enemies, our ineptness has emboldened them. It would be pretty naive to think we are safer today under this administration.
Some great words may have been uttered at this convention, but the increasing separation between the wealthy and the poor in this country shows that the words and the deeds of this administration just don’t match up.
One of our truly great presidents observed that you can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Let’s hope the American electorate falls in that last category.
An old acquaintance of mine, who was actively involved with politics throughout his life, used to say that a young man who wasn’t a Democrat didn’t have a heart, and an old man who wasn’t a Republican didn’t have a brain. Based on the administration of George W. Bush, I can’t resist observing that some altogether different body part must now be guiding the GOP.
I have been a political independent for about 40 years, but this campaign has caused me to reexamine some things. If the current President represents what the Republican Party has become, I may have to be a Democrat for the next few years. I really don’t think the welfare of the average citizen is first and foremost in the minds of Republicans, and I detest the way the present administration has trashed the basic character of this country. There are many more nations around the world that hate us now and, if anyone thinks this makes us safer, they are dangerously naive.
This last point is an important one. Dick Cheney has claimed that we would be more subject to attack under a Kerry administration. I would invite any rational person to consider whose policies and actions have fanned the flames of hatred in the first place. The perpetrator of the attacks of September 11 was known, but instead of pursuing Bin Laden and bringing him to justice, the President totally misdirected the response and changed sympathy for the United States to worldwide enmity.
The United States must remain militarily strong and vigilant, but if terrorism is to be diminished, we must avoid the irresponsibly aggressive and reckless actions taken by the Bush administration. This president, with the mentality of a Texas gunslinger, could take us to the nuclear equivalent of the shootout at the OK Corral.
And finally, the most insidious threat we face today may not be from terrorists but may come from within our own country. The separation of church and state is one of the most fundamental principles of the Constitution. It guarantees that our religious beliefs are ours alone to choose, and that no ruling party will have any say on that matter. Morality has never been increased by attempting to impose it by law, and one could easily argue that some of the most immoral acts throughout history have occurred when some ruling party attempted to impose its ideological beliefs on others. The church/state separation clause guarantees that won’t happen here and, unlike Iraq, is something that is truly worth fighting for.
Richard M. Weed – Trenton. NJ.

Dear Joe,
A correspondent claims that BP donated $1 billion to support the Bush election campaign. Just not credible. Before perpetrating this sort of claim, ask yourself if it is believable. Plain common sense shows the lie to the statement.
BP has major business in China, France, Germany, (and most of Europe) Russia, Turkey and the middle East including Kuwait, Abu Dhabi etc. . It has refineries in Singapore etc. BP shareholders would throw shit into the fan if this major company operating in some 40 countries threw money to support Bush . I would be one of the objecting share holders. Where will it stand if Kerry wins?
BP has a long history of wisely not being very political. (Note - Lord Simon was BP chairman and turned out after retirement to be a labour supporter much to the amazement of staff and shareholders.) The idea that BP would support Bush would be enough to destroy its business interests in a lot of the world. Political donations of $1billion to anything would have to appear in the company annual reports. Can you imagine a BP chairman surviving that? Sorry, but a little analysis before perpetrating such a myth would help. What would Democrats do to a company, enormous in the US if it fought on the Republican side? Exxon would not dare do it either.
I have just finished a major project on British Nursery Rhymes for a Danish educational publisher. The songs were performed by Pamela Ward and George Norris. See the Ward website is becoming big in the US. Her latest release 'Just an Old fashioned girl', while not my cup of tea is amazing. It involves some 20 musicians. (Providence is the label)
Best of everything,
Yours aye,
Eric Cowell

Hi Joe,
Your ramblings are great !! Keep them up !! By the way, we let you use our PA at the Hereford Cider Festival once. You shouted down the Mic so loudly that you blew 3 of our speakers. You are in the Orange Blossom Sound hall of fame. To what address shall I send the bill for the speakers??
Love and Kisses Mike Artes


There were 3 good arguments that Jesus could have been Black:
1. He called everyone "brother"
2. He liked Gospel
3. He couldn't get a fair trial.
But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:
1. He went into His Fathers business.
2. He lived at home until he was 33.
3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin and his mother was sure he was God.
But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus could have been Italian:
1. He talked with his hands.
2. He had wine with every meal.
3. He used olive oil.
But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus could have been a Californian:
1. He never cut his hair.
2. He walked around barefoot all the time.
3. He started a new religion.
But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus could have been Irish:
1. He never got married.
2. He was always telling stories.
3. He loved green pastures.
But the most compelling evidence of all - 3 proofs that Jesus could have been a woman:
1. He fed a crowd at a moment's notice when there was no food.
2. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it.
3. And even when he was dead, he had to get up because there was more work to do.


A man dies and goes to heaven. He looks around and notices thousands of clocks, all set at different times.
So he asks St. Peter, "What's with all the clocks?"
S. Peter replies, "They're lie clocks. Every time someone lies, the hands move a minute. Every human has one."
The man points at one and asks, "Whose is that?"
St. Peter replies, "Mother Teresa's, it's still at twelve o'clock, meaning she never lied in her whole life."
"Whose clock is that?"
"Abraham Lincoln's, it's at 12:02, he only lied twice in his entire life."
The man wonders, "Where's Tony Blair’s' clock?"
St. Peter replies, "In Jesus' office, he's using it as a ceiling fan."

"Exactly what type of dress are you looking for?" replied the sales clerk.
The bride to be said: "A long frilly white dress with a veil."
The sales clerk didn't know quite what to say but she finally said, "Frankly, madam, gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are being married the first time and a bit more innocent, if you know what I mean?"
"Well" replied the customer, more than a little put out. "I can assure you that I am as innocent as the rest of them. Believe it or not, despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as any first time bride."
"You see, my first husband was so excited about our wedding he died as we were checking into our hotel."
"My second husband and I got into a terrible fight in the limo on our way to the reception and have not spoken since. We had that wedding annulled immediately."
"What about your third husband?" asked the sales clerk.
"Well" said the woman, "he was a Republican and every night for four years he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be."


Here are some comments made by NBC sports commentators during the Olympics
that they would like to take back:
1. Weightlifting commentator: "This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her
snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing."
2. Dressage commentator: "This is really a lovely horse and I speak from
personal experience since I once mounted her mother."
3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and
4. At the rowing medal ceremony: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC
president is hugging the cox of the British crew."
5. Soccer commentator: "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got
eleven Dicks on the field."
6. Tennis commentator: "One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that,
before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them... Oh
my God, what have I just said?"


During September I heard a dietician speaking on ‘Talk Sport Radio 1089AM’. Apparently there is as much salt in a bowl of cornflakes as there is in an equivalent sized bowl of sea water!
Enjoy your breakfast.

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead