I was for the introduction of US style primaries for British elections before I was against them. Actually I'm not wholly against them but think that they are overrated as a method of weakening the control of the political parties and encouraging voter engagement.
First of all our parties aren't going to completely open up, it's going to be a Henry Ford style choice- vote for any candidate you want as long as it is a Central Office approved drone. Secondly with low voter interest it would be quite easy to distort the process if a candidate has enough connections. Thirdly almost all of the benefits can and none of the downsides of primaries can be achieved in another way- by having a Single Transferable Vote system, as they have in Ireland, where you have multi member constituencies and ranked voting. This would create space for smaller parties to exist and offer a real choice, it would mean that you could still vote against a candidate even if you want to support their party and no one could say that their vote would be wasted.
The Railway Mania Bar at the Royal Station Hotel, York
44 minutes ago