4 NOVEMBER 2000, Page 43

Pearls before Shaun

From Mr Eric Dehn Sir: I read Mark Seddon's question-mark on Shaun Woodward (Is Woodward dead wood?', 28 October) with a personal interest, having taught Shaun in his schooldays. I don't know if that means that, as in the world of Railtrack, I should have taken responsibil- ity and handed in my own resignation.

Actually, I didn't teach him much as he had a mind of his own and didn't automati- cally absorb and accept my pearls of wis- dom. I felt an affectionate disapproval (if that is a permissible oxymoron) for his orig- inal thinking and non-conformity, but dis- approval has since outweighed affection.

I feel strongly that if one changes one's mind (and Shaun had a rather volatile one) and changes one's party, one should no longer represent a constituency but hand in one's resignation forthwith and seek re- election elsewhere.

I have an equally strong feeling that Shaun Woodward will continue to ignore my pearls of wisdom.

Erie Dehn

(ex-Bristol Grammar School 1939-76), Bristol