The Conservative Party is a private club of which I'm not a member, but as they'll be asking me to vote for their Parliamentary candidate at the next election, I'm naturally interested into how that candidate is selected.
As a Localist, I support a system that picks candidates with links to the local area, and candidates confident enough of their local political roots and support to be if not wholly independent then at least not in the pocket of a central Statist party. Open primaries, introduced by the Conservatives, are a good thing. Or they would be if local voters were being asked to pick between half a dozen local and independentish candidates. If all six are central party blow-ins and unknown even to their local parties, there's not a lot of point to a open primary. And not much point in having a local party association. Tory localists are not happy with Eric Pickles - see the comments on Con Home - and Eric's explanation doesn't convince.
Then there's Eric's comments in the Indie about making overpaid council chief executives redundant.
I could have supported this if Eric had said that local voters should have the option of making their overpaid chief executives redundant. He didn't. He announced it as a potential centralist Whitehall management measure - and it's one that could easily rob councils of the little power they retain. I'd much rather make the entire top three echelons at the department for communities and local government redundant, along with their ministers, SpAds and expensive Victoria offices.
With wrong answers such as these, the Conservatives still have a way to go before they've secured my vote.