Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A staggering Tory primary in Totnes.

I am absolutely staggered- and impressed- by reports that the Tories have held a primary in Totnes in which 10,000 people have voted. I have called in the past for closed primaries in the Labour party- i.e. registered Labour supporters would be able to vote- but this primary in Devon is incredible. A full report has been posted by Michael Crick.

As it happens, I'm currently in the next county along- Cornwall. As I only have wifi access in McDonalds, I can't see there being a lot of blogging this week though I will somehow get 'Climate change Thursday' done.

You may be interested in a couple of things from the weekend.

i) I had a piece on Gary McKinnon on the Huffington Post. As is typical with these things, I got attacked from the right for being too PC and from the left for being un-PC. I really fail to see how describing Asperger's as a disability- given that the doctor who diagnosed Gary McKinnon, Prof Simon Baron-Cohen, described it as such and so does the National Autistic Society- is a major issue. Convince me otherwise?

The sad thing about the discussion is that it is a sideshow from other major issues- the fate Gary McKinnon himself, and widening understanding of Asperger's so that we can insure that individuals and their families get the right support and that they are given every chance possible to fulfil every ounce of their potential just as the rest of us are. If describing it as a disability means that Gary McKinnon and others with Asperger's get that support then so be it.

ii) The Australian newspaper quoted my 'what it means to be left' response which appeared on Open Left. Not quite sure why, but very nice of them anyway.

iii) My LabourList column will appear later today. It's on can and should Peter Mandelson be Prime Minister?

iv) Giles Wilkes, author of a magnificent paper on economic policy, made a comment yesterday on my 'The Economic Consequences of David Cameron' piece. The full piece is here.

Back to McDonalds which I pretend to detest but actually rather enjoy their Sausage and Egg McMuffins. Thanks Ronald.

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