Wednesday, May 10, 2006

That reply in full then....

Dear Mr Wood

Thank you for your open letter of 1 May.

As you state you do not wish to be drawn into any bitter wrangling, I am pleased to inform you that none exists between my party and myself.

There is a genuine difference of opinion between my party and an absentee Councillor, and if your public statements are to be believed
you support the same position as the Liberal Democrats.

You will, of course, have taken legal advice before sharing your allegation with anyone that my name appears on a particular lease, not least because such a document is a commercial contract between two parties neither of whom are at liberty to share its contents with a third party without the permission of either. I am satisfied that no such disclosure has taken place because had it done so you would not now be alleging that my name appears on it. I would therefore strongly advise you to withdraw this allegation immediately.

All of the other questions you ask were answered in the article you refer too and I have nothing to add to the answers I gave.

The key issue is indeed one of trust and I am still waiting for an apology following your assertion on the doorstep at the last General Election that I and my family moved to Torbay from Manchester, when I was in fact born in Paignton and have lived in the constituency for most of my life. A person's origins should not be a barrier to election, but those who believe it does count against them should not bear false witness in order to overcome the truth. Your failings in this not only call into question your personal integrity but have undermined your electability as someone seeking public office, whether in Torbay or elsewhere in the future.

Yours sincerely

Adrian Sanders MP


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wood,

Well done for having some spine to publish our respected MPs reply.It certainly is an excellent example of fudging and mindless verbiage. Perhaps Mr Sanders has forgotten that his electability depends on his actions, as much as yours will on yours?

Has he already forgotten his own electioneering pamphlets I wonder?

Perhaps your political stalker Barrie Wood (Is he related?!) will deny that Mr Saunders and the LD's indulged in a mild smear campaign over the "candidate from Windsor".

On a seperate note I feel the saving of Upton school would no doubt benefit future pupils, offering a stark contrast to our illustrious MP's poor literary prowess. I hope he will in future back local educational issues positively....

Anonymous said...

"A person's origins should not be a barrier to election..."

Brought to you from the people who referred to you as 'Michael Howards man from Windsor' throughout the election campaign!!!

Are you going to let him get away with this?

Barrie Wood said...

Political stalker ?! LOL !!

The problem for Marcus is not that he is the 'candidate from Windsor' but that he is a naked 'career politician' and a Tory one at that !

He only moved here - and was considering possibilities elsewhere [as Jim Parker in the HE confirmed]in order to achieve his parliamentary ambitions. This suggests a man more interested in personal ambition than a commitment to serving the bay.

It also hints at the pool of talent available from within the Tory party locally to contest the Torbay seat as being pretty threadbare. That the Conservatives needed an open evening to 'tout' for candidates for the 2007 local elections should also be a warning as to the health of that party in the bay. Still, I digress !

As the incumbent, a born and bred Paigntonian and with a formidable record of constituency service, as the 100% record of response to queries that the writetothem website
testifies Adrian Sanders DOES have an inbuilt advantage, but so do many hard working sitting MPs, of whatever political persuasion.

However, it is his consistent record of liberalism and the ongoing LD commitment to civil liberties, the environment, progressive taxation and social justice that mark out the fault lines between his party and the Tories. Who knows what they stand for anymore ? Expediency is the order of the day. Say anything to get elected is Cameron's motif.

It is on POLICIES principally that Adrian should be re-elected, but constituency service does matter. Indeed, this is probably precisely why Anthony Steen has held off strong Lib Dem challenges [so far] for the Totnes seat.

In summary, Marcus' origins are a peripheral issue, it is more an issue of personal and political credibility - and that is for the people of Torbay to judge.

BTW I have no connections with Windsor and can therefore confirm that I am in no way related to Marcus !

Anonymous said...


If Mr Wood is a "naked career politician" whilst simultaneously holding down a job; what pray is Adrian Sanders? No doubt you will recall he has only worked in the political arena since 1984!!!

A case of the pot and the kettle, don't you think?

In addition you don't deny the attempt to smear Mr Wood as an "outsider" in the campaign. How long does he have to stay in the Bay before you'll accept him? Isn't true Liberalism about accepting other peoples?

I agree with you - it is about personal credibility. So, as an active voter, I'm concerned that our MP seems to be unable or unwilling to explain clearly his actions.He likes his allowances as well, doesn't he? (Mind you, they all do)

Glad to hear you're not related to Marcus Wood. I was begining to think this blog was all a put up job.

Anonymous said...

Interesting read. Wonder if he'll sue? Probably he's hoping for some verbal gymnastics to get him out of it.

I think Sanders should stop patting himself on the back and do something for us.

Anonymous said...

Interesting read. Wonder whether he'll sue? Probably hoping he can slide off the issue. Typical politician.

When is he going to stop slapping his own back and get off his backside and do something for us?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, for the double message - I didn't think the first one went.

Barrie Wood said...

'Humble voter' - like the other Mr. Wood I am NOT a native of Torbay. However my commitment to the bay is infinite and I moved here in order to pursue a better life and NOT a political career, unlike Marcus.

As I said in the earlier post, that he was considering standing elsewhere and appeared to use this as leverage to be speedily adopted as Torbay Tory PPC says much about him.

If he had served some time on Torbay Council and dealt with day-to-day issues then he may have garned a reputation as someone who gets things done, but instead Marcus seeks only prestigious office and the trappings that go with it.

Such points make me doubt Marcus' commitment to the bay. As a Liberal I don't care about the age, sex, class or race of the LD candidate it is her / his liberalism and record of work in promoting the bay politically that counts. It stands to reason then that Marcus' origins are irrelevant - his politics not so.

Actually on a personal level I do have a healthy respect for Marcus and he is a Tory of more substance than a good number who have gone before him in the bay from his party.However politics is about policies and the consistent themes the Lib Dems have offered [to me] seem to have more substance than the lightweight and currently 'all things to all people' Tories are offering.

Further, Marcus' obsession with Adrian is obscuring his own message and he constantly gives the impression of 'talking down' Torbay. I guess as his party has no concrete policies at present he has little alternative right now, but he can't persist with that tack to 2009/10 !

'Humble Voter' If you want to know what Adrian is doing on our behalf just go to his website :

Anonymous said...

Thought I would pick up the comment on 'touting' for candidates. Surely it is better to actively pursue new blood from the business community for the coucil elections than drag up the same old names.
At the last couple of elections the LD lot have certainly scraped the barrel - as evidenced in many of their actions over the last few years.
Good luck to the tories I say - with enough new blood they could well make a difference, provided they are allowed to govern and not blocked by the career unelected officers in the town hall.

Marcus Wood said...

Barrie, don't you think your suggestion that I moved here for 'career' reasons only is a bit presumptious?

When I moved here Adrian had a majority of 6,700 and by all accounts was set to remain the Mp for life.

But even if I had made the move solely because I had been selected to be the candidate why should you imply that I have less moral right to discuss Torbay affairs than you do?

Don't you think that is just a little bit hypocritical of you?

I also take exception to your comment that "Marcus seeks only prestigious office and the trappings that go with it" - if you knew me you would know that that is the last thing that interests me about politics.

You say 'it's about the policies, not the personalities' and then go on to assume negative things about my personality that you cannot possibly know because we have never met.

As a matter of interest, have you ever actually met Adrian?

Barrie Wood said...


You know full well that your attempt to railroad the Tories locally by basically saying back me or I'm off did damage your credibility and suggested less than fulsome commitment to the bay.

If the trappings of high office do not motivate you why is it that as the most prominent Tory locally [save for Nick Bye] you haven't sought to improve the bay by standing for the council you are apt to criticise ? Not prestigious or lucrative enough ?

Yes I have met Adrian a number of times. I have a positive regard for him personally and the work he does on behalf of the bay. I will certainly be on the doorsteps canvassing support for him at the next GE. His voting record and more importantly the themes the LD's prioritise nationally - and has done consistently - means he'll get my vote.

Lastly, why is it always assumed that business community is the panacea to all our problems ? The businessman at the helm right now [Nick Bye] is hardly inspiring confidence. We need a council that in age, gender, work experience, life skills and much else that is reflective of Torbay. At present, across all parties, Torbay Council [like many other councils] is over-represented by the retired and professional classes.

In closing on a positive note I would offer a word of praise for Cameron's Tories during the recent round of local elections. With the BNP poisoning the atmosphere with their 'hate filled' politics with some success it was good to see your party steer clear of issues of race, asylum and immigration in the search for easy votes. Whatever else he achieves I hope David Cameron is successful in making your party more at ease with modern society and it's diversity and to stay on a more socially liberal course.

Previous Tory leaders have been less than circumspect on such matters.

Anonymous said...


Dear, oh dear, oh dear. When did I ask about your origins? The relevance for your move to the bay is, I'm afraid, no more interesting than mine! What I want you to answer is the charge that if Marcus Wood is a "naked career politician" then surely, by your own definition, Arian Sanders is "an extremely experienced naked career politicion"!!

I've monitored Adrian Sanders web for a while and can't say that it's great reading.

I, for one, fully support Marcus Wood in his advocacy of travel and tourism jobs, in contrast to Sanders desire to see manufacturing led business in the area. I note you never responded to the interesting conundrum of our registered unemployed; but foreign workers employed in the Bay. Obviously some paid work is beneath people. Having worked in both a Bar and an Hotel I think that actively contributing to the economy is better than expecting the state (taxpayer) to support you. Do you agree?

On a seperate note I wonder if you're for or against the recent Court verdict on the Afghan hijackers? Liberalism v Common sense.

Lastly as a floating voter I'm interested to see that you respect Marcus. Does that mean that you may in future be standing shoulder to shoulder with me in deciding which party merits your vote, as opposed to blind unswerving political allegiance?

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to feel sorry for Chris Harris and his colleagues. Adrian Saunders has always pushed himself in the limelight as the good guy and blasted everything his councilors have done. I certainly won't like to have a boss who is one thing in public and someone very nasty in private.

Barrie Wood said...

Humble voter I have stated the principles that will mean that I will vote LD. Further, I should point out that I wasn't brought up politically within the Liberal tradition, but the core themes of progressive taxation, civil liberties, environmentalism, localism and greater social justice chime with me.

The Tories at present seem to have no consistent themes and values. The last manifesto - written by Cameron - seems so at odds with what he is saying now. With the LD's at Westminster I know what I am / will be getting.

With Marcus personally I know more about his antipathy for Adrian particularly - and LD in general - than the issues important to him nationally and locally.

It is not a matter of either / or re tourism vs manufacturing jobs. It is about widening our economic base.

If I don't answer every point it is because I write enough as it is and this is Marcus' blog, not mine.

However, Marcus too is selective in his replies. You don't see him publicly backing our TORY mayor to any extent, but still he tries to maintain the fiction that we have a Lib Dem controlled council. Utter nonsense !

Mr Bye is floundering and he and I both know it !

If you want MY views you can try
- although it is in urgent need of an update, which will be coming shortly. Indeed I intend to focus more on this than Marcus' blog in the future.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reply. I'd concentrate on running for public office rather than your blog, if I were you. Your statement is a masterclass in not answering my 3 direct questions - well done! I'm sure as a healthy LD challenger to our ailing Mr Saunders you'd give him a good run for his money (Or should I say ours?).

Widening our economic base? With your blog being called "leftleaning politics" you're begining to sound like a closet 5 Year planner!!

I think the Tories have some interesting ideas and as the LD's won't gain Parliamentary control in the next election are you really content to buy the political equivalent of a Rover? (Incidentally wasn't that an example of widening the economic base of the Midlands...I wonder)

Barrie Wood said...

HV : the Tories may have 'some interesting ideas' but they have NO policies, hence Marcus' fills this particular void with attacks on the Lib Dems and Adrian in particular.

I don't recognise your Rover analogy, maybe Ming's vintage former Jag is more appropriate !!
Marcus must be the equivalent of a Lada : durable but with no style or consistency and very out-of-date !!! Continuing the theme Nick Bye must be a bicycle with stabilisers as he is politically 'unsteady' and not able to progress without a helping hand !!

Joking apart - and I am only joking - as for your jibe about the Midlands, it was Mrs T that helped to destroy more manufacturing jobs than any other PM - unemployment was a 'price well worth paying' to keep inflation low I recall. So not the wisest issue to raise on a Tory blog. Too many remember the misery of those 80s days.

As for public office I am happy to defer to Adrian in the PPC stakes. It'd be far too confusing to have two candidates in the election called Wood anyway ! And, as you know, I'm happy with the representation we already have at Westminster.

Anonymous said...

Hey Barrie,

Have you been selected by the Lib Dems to be a candidate yet, for the council elections for May 2007? If so, will you be true to where you live and stand in Wellswood?

Or are you gonig to target a more winable ward?

It will be so nice to watch the Tories stop you getting into office with all your Sanders brown nosing!

Roll on 2007 !