Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 176 - May 2015



Ingeborg Breines, Co-president International Peace Bureau in Oslo and former director of UNESCO sends me good wishes in email for the forthcoming election



Well the General Election is just around the corner.  Next week; May 7th to be exact.  If you live in GB, you must vote.  Remember you won't have a voice if you don't vote; and you won't have a right to criticize whomever is eventually elected to govern this country.  My manifesto pamphlet looks like this (the words have blurred a little in reproduction)..............


Communication with the outside world as a whole started on April 1st when I was interviewed by Liz Green on her BBC Radio Leeds breakfast show.  I suppose I should show her some form of appreciation for giving me about 3 minutes of air time; but I felt I was there against her wishes, more a hunch of the producer to which she objected.  It was interesting that she gave Elliot Barr more air time for standing in Wakefield whose only mandate is to legalize cannabis.  I guess to an extent the two go together.  Most cannabis smokers want world peace, although not everybody who wants world peace necessarily wants to legalize cannabis.  Anyway, if anything it showed her ignorance and my good nature.  It won't have done me any harm, but it is doubtful getting up at 6am and driving to Leeds did me any good either.  But that's politics for you.


I had a lovely session with Joe Tidy from Sky News who spent a few good hours with me filming both at home and in Hebden Bridge town centre.  I don't know whether the clip has actually been shown on TV; very possibly in the early hours of the morning when most of us were asleep.  Joe did contact me with a time one Wednesday afternoon when the clip was scheduled - but it never appeared.


I had a visit from Ben Greenwood a nice young chap from Hebden Bridge who is studying journalism at Sheffield University.  He wanted to do an interview as a part of his project; I was delighted to let him.    This is what he came up with.........


Joe Stead, a folk singer from Sowerby, is pitting his one-man party; World Peace through Song, against the likes of Labour and the Conservatives in the coming general election. 
He hopes to gain votes in the area from his unique approach to politics: through music. 

Joe had voted Labour his whole life until 2003 when Britain joined the Iraq War under Tony Blair. “As far as I’m concerned, Tony Blair should be tried as a war criminal” Joe says, “I made a vow in 2003 that I would never vote Labour again.”




This year Joe has created his own party, of which he is the soul member, to go up against the major parties.  He had to pay £150 to name his independent party so that it will appear on the ballot paper , he said “I thought World Peace through Song seemed like a really good title…you are now looking at a political party!”

Joe's manifesto includes: saving Halifax A&E, stopping fracking, protecting dairy farmers and nationalisation the railways. He also wants everyone who votes in this election to have free rail travel until the next election in order to promote his view that everyone should vote.  

He moved to the Calder Valley in 1985 after selling his recording company in London and has become the talk of the town with the likes of ITV and Sky News in contact for possible interviews.  

Here is what Joe had to say about the process that led to him deciding to become an independent candidate in the coming election:

As well as a first-time politician, Joe is also a successful folk performer. He began touring America in 1979 and played many clubs in Philadelphia. "I have a huge fan base in Philadelphia" said Joe, "I'm not being big headed, I've got more fans in Philadelphia than in Great Britain" Joe then toured America every six months in the following years.

Joe has a campaign CD which has songs that he says are relevant to his policies. After being asked if he thought music and politics complemented each other he said "It depends what you're singing about. As far as I'm concerned, yes. On my CD the songs are mostly about peace. All the songs I sang as a solo performer were left-wing union songs about getting work and getting paid for holidays ... so yes, I do think they go well together"

Joe's left wing stance and view that the 'main parties' "breed racism" and "only look after the rich" may have been influenced by friends of his that include Pete Seeger, who was also a Folk performer and political activist, and Paul Robeson: legendary Singer, civil rights activist and anti-imperialist.   


One sunny day I had a visit from Amy Murphy a delightful young lady from the Press Association who filmed me in the garden. Taking stock from the picture above I decided to wear long trousers.  Not quite sure what became of that.  Might yet hear something.


Interesting the different attitude shown between Amy Murphy, Ben Greenwood, Joe Tidy and Liz Green.  The first three helpful, informative and interested.  The last one simply going through the motions.  Well actually watching her going through her motions might have been more enlightening than being on her radio programme.  That's something I suppose I should be thankful for not witnessing. 


The hustings at Todmorden and Hebden Bridge were great fun.  Well I had nothing to lose and I have to confess at times they became a one man comedy show.  Telling the sitting Conservative candidate Craig Whittaker (after he had made a statement the audience obviously did not like) "Mr Whittaker I think you are doing your best to lose this election" went down very well with everybody else.  But I suppose in the end it was just cheap humour.  But I'm a cheap kinda guy.


I'm glad I've done it.  Now we wait for the result of the poll to come through in the early hours of Friday May 8th.  I'm not holding my breath.  I have no idea how many votes I will get. Five, fifty, one hundred and fifty?  Only time will tell.  Getting letters of encouragement from two members of The World Peace Bureau, one of whom the president and a former director of UNESCO, gave me a huge boost.  The letters can be found in the letter section that follows.


Finally, whilst digging round the office, I found the following photograph of myself with Neil Kinnock and Alice Mahon in 1987.  Neil was the leader of the Labour Party and would have been prime minister if he had not lost the election by 229 seats to 375.  Almost a landslide defeat!!!  Alice Mahon however became the Member of Parliament for Halifax that year and remained in that position until she resigned her seat in 2005 after Tony Blair had decided to invade Iraq.  One of a few MP's who stood up to Blair she was as honest as the day is long.  If she were still an MP I would move to Halifax just to vote for her.  She became a friend during her period in the Commons.  I confess I've lost touch now.




And what you might ask  are we singing?  The answer is 'Joe Hill' and I'm delighted to tell you that they both knew the song reasonably well.  With me leading it they joined in every verse.  A delightful morning in Mixenden; and for those of you who live outside a radius of 10 miles of Halifax let me assure you that delightful mornings in Mixenden do not come along very often.  Indeed this might have been the first ever!




Fixture List for Kimber's Men and Joe Stead




May 11th (Joe) The Morely Monday Club. 10.30am Paul Robeson

May 11th (KM) Beverley Folk Club, Rose and Crown, Beverley, East Yorkshire

May 15th (KM) Shepley Festival

May 16th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Northumberland.

May 17th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Northumberland.

May 23rd (KM) Met Studio, Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford.

May 28th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 29th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 30th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 31st (KM) Ostend Festival

Jun 12th (KM) Mylor - Venue to be confirmed

Jun 13th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea

Jun 14th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea.

Jul 22nd (Joe) Leeds - Lecture on Paul Robeson.

Jul 24th (KM) Penarth Pier Pavilion, South Wales

Jul 25th (KM) Shammick Acoustic’ Pack o’ Cards, Combe Martin. EX34 0ET

Aug 14th (KM) Trades Club, Hebden Bridge.

Sep 1st (Joe) Rochdale Masonic Buildings. Richard Street, Rochdale 2pm - Robeson.

Sep 7th (KM) Mansfield Folk Club, Black Bull, Woodhouse Rd, Mansfield

Sep 25th (KM) Keighley Folk Club - Provisional

Sep 26th (KM) Eyemouth RNLI - Provisional

Nov 20th (KM) Market Theatre, Market St, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2AQ

Nov 21st (KM) Rhosygilwen, Rhoshill, Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire. SA43 2TW

Nov 28th (KM) Hepworth Live, Hepworth Village Hall, Towngate, HD9 1TE.

Dec 6th (KM) The Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Rd West, Southport

Feb 1st (KM) Barnsley Folk Club.

Feb 5th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 6th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 12th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 13th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 19th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 20th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire






Hallo Joe
My brother sent me the link to your page and that of Kimber's Men. Great stuff!
I used to live in Manchester but now I work for an international peace organisation, so I have a 'professional' interest!
If it's OK I will send the link to some of our members and supporters.
BTW do you know about the Peace Party, we have one of our members standing in the Guildford area election, John Morris.
Also : Are you related in any way to the famous WT Stead? He was one of our peace pioneers in late 19C. Amazing character...died on the Titanic.

If you send me a CD I'll put an old fashioned British cheque in the post to you.
Wishing you best of luck
Colin Archer

International Peace Bureau
41 rue de Zürich
1201 Geneva




I would love to buy a CD with your songs and hope you will get MANY votes during the elections.

Look forward to hearing from you - and of you!

Kind regards,

Ingeborg Breines

Co-president International Peace Bureau (Former director UNESCO)

phone: (+47) 90031659

skype: i.breines

Sigerfjordveien 503
8400 Sortland (+47 76127026)


Kjelsåsveien 143c

0491 Oslo




Hi Joe,
I read your flyer this morning and would just like to say thanks for standing in the election. You've saved me from having to spoil my vote for the first time ever.
Cheers & good luck.

Jamie Lamb




Hi Joe,

I had been clinging to the hope that you would someday be able to make one more solo trip to our side of the pond, but given your current circumstances, I guess it's not to be.

When I started reading your "FIVE PARROTS" story, I first thought it was a variation of the famous (or INfamous) "Charm School" joke, but it took a different turn that I can still relate to. Having shared my home with multiple parrots over the last 25-30 years, I'm quite familiar with the strength of their feet and claws and the manner by which they grip an arm or a finger. After briefly considering the phenomenal capabilities of the husband in your story, all I have to say is "not even if I could!"


Bert Coffman





Really sad to hear about Pete Fyfe passing.

I've very fond memories of throwing The Band of Two into very difficult racecourse bars and them coming out on top - with punters and trainers alike.

Best wishes,
Mark Ringwood @ mARKO pOLO

6 Lumley Terrace, Lumley Road, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 8AB





All the best and every success

Dick Miles.




Hi Joe,

I haven't written in awhile. Sorry to hear of the side effects of your medication. Glad to see you running for parliament. If I were not a US citizen, I'd vote for you. Maybe you could take some tips from the old Chicago politicians who used to say vote early, vote often.

Phil CooperUSA.




Hi Joe,

Good to get the Ramblings again today as always but was shocked to read about your prostate cancer!

I won't ramble on telling stories of people I don't know, but I do want to share with you some info I have found first hand as it were with people in my life.  

Water fasting is something people talk about in passing but I'll share with you now what I know to be the case.

The most relevant case I know is that of my father in law who was for many years a naturopth, chiropractor and osteopath in Australia. He discovered he had prostate cancer, the doctors wanted to give him drugs and biopsies but he chose to do water fast for the first time himself after many years of treating people this way who were suffering from a variety of illnesses.


My father in law ended up doing a water fast for about 44 days and at the end of that fast had his prostate tested again, when the results came back it showed a reading of a man half his age. He was in his late 60's and that was about 7 years ago and he's going strong.

My wife and her sister as teenagers were both using needles to inject drugs and both got Hep C. My wife, after 9 days on a water fast got rid of it, her sister did 14 days as she was a bigger girl.! They don't call them antibodies but that's kinda what the were left with and in the clear.

I have done two 5 day water fasts with about 5 years in-between each, there are many reasons to do a water fast and we should all do them periodically in our lives as it is the only way to flush away all the toxins that stay in our bodies without us knowing. I can give you lots of details if you want them and if you do a fast like this your urine' respiratory system and blood pressure will need to be monitored by someone with experience like a natuopath. Your doctor will not approve as he will not gain by you not taking drugs.

A water fast is when you only drink water.! nothing else is swallowed. If you put anything in your digestive system that is not a water fast.

I will describe really briefly what I mean as I am very aware that my behaviour could offend, but it's worth the risk so what the feck:)

After about 3 days of being on a water fast the digestive system goes into an emergency state and turns off leaving the body to search elsewhere (itself) for sources of energy. Firstly and noticeably are fats being used, calluses and scare tissue start to be absorbed, then any arthritic joints are cleared, viruses and tumours are also seen by the body as non vital so are absorbed. The body goes through everything in itself like it has an emergency check list leaving bone tissue and organ mass until the end of course!
All the unusable waste leaves the body with the urine and in my experience that's like pissing porridge which is a bit of a shock at first but a sure sign the body is being cleansed in an astonishing way. Humans have evolved through millennia doing this living through times of no food, ancient wisdom speaks of it too, I for one advocate it at every opportunity.

I don't mean to pry into your life in any way Joe, but I've known you since I was a kid and I love you man!

p.s. I am sending you a dropbox link so you can hear one of my songs. I'm still saving up to get it mastered so it's a bit quiet but turning the volume up will be fine :) It was completely inspired by you and your sea shanty ways, researching for this song was lots of fun and very informative. My song is called the Ballad of Sally Carter. John Carter was a renowned smuggler in Cornwall and I just made up his daughter and the story. I hope you like it


Dean Van Jones xxx




There has been such a lot of bad news in recent years – ISIS, Al Quaeda, etc. – so it was with relief that we saw some good news on the TV a couple of nights ago. The item showed Raoul Castro of Cuba and Obama of USA, greeting each other, sitting down and having a conversation for an hour or so. We don’t know much of what they talked about but I believe that the USA is relenting a little about its stance re Cuba. They have imposed so many sanctions over Cuba in the last 50 or so years and they seem to be realising that these sanctions don’t always work. Maybe business interests in USA see Cuba as virgin territory for them to expand into. Whatever, the future looks a little brighter.

The 2nd World War was the worst event ever to have been inflicted on mankind. And as such it has prompted many people to write about it. There are two British authors who are pre-eminent in this field. They are Antony Beevor and Max Hastings. I have just finished reading Hastings’ “ALL HELL LET LOOSE”. In 748 pages of text, index, notes, biblio and 30-40 photos, he describes WWII objectively. He pulls no punches – tells it as it was. Criticises those who need to be criticised whether they be Allies, Germans or Russians or whomsoever. For example, he says that Dunkirk was Britain’s worst disaster ever! You may wonder at this but he quotes facts and figures to support his thesis. This is the sort of book that one would like to have on the book shelf to take down occasionally and dip into.

Another book that I have just started to read is ‘KIWI COMPANEROS”. It looks to be an interesting account of the New Zealanders who went to Spain in 1936-39 to fight in the International Brigade against Franco. (I had a 2nd cousin who went from Yugoslavia to fight with comrades against Franco but he was sadly killed on the Madrid front.)

Good reading,

Rudy Sunde - New Zealand.









One for the elections.


While walking down the street one day a Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'

'No problem, just let me in,' says the man.

'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter.

'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.'
'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP.
'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.
Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.
They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.
Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.
Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises....
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.
'Now it's time to visit heaven.'
So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.'
The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.
Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.
He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.
The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. ' I don't understand,' stammers the MP..

'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look haunted and miserable. What happened? '
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'Yesterday we were campaigning'.

"Today you voted".






The train was quite crowded, and a U. S. Marine walked the entire length looking for a seat, but the only seat left was taken by a well dressed, middle-aged, French woman's poodle.
The war-weary Marine asked, 'Ma'am, may I have that seat?'
The French woman just sniffed and said to no one in particular 'Americans are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat.'
The Marine walked the entire train again, but the only seat left was under that dog.
'Please, ma'am. May I sit down? I'm very tired.'
She snorted, 'Not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!'
This time the Marine didn't say a word; he just picked up the little dog, tossed it out the train window, and sat down.
The woman shrieked, 'Someone must defend my honour! This American should be put in his place!'
An English gentleman sitting nearby spoke up, 'Sir, you Americans seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing.

You hold the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your cars on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out the window.'






Billy Bob tells Luther, This year I'm gonna do my vacation different.
The last few years, I took your advice about where to go.


Three years ago you said to go to Hawaii. I went to Hawaii and Earlene
got pregnant.


Then two years ago, you told me to go to the Bahamas, and Earlene got
pregnant again.


Last year you suggested Tahiti and darned if Earlene didn't get pregnant


Luther asks Billy Bob, So, whatcha gonna do this year that's different?


"I'm taking Earlene with me."



Keep smiling, keep singing.......................and VOTE







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