Back in 2004, the then Tory leader Michael Howard instructed Boris Johnson, in his incarnation as editor of the Spectator magazine, to visit Liverpool & apologise for the editorial, penned by Simon Heffer, which used Ken Bigley's murder in Iraq as an opportunity to indulge in a bit of good, old fashioned Scouse bashing. Bumbling Boris shambled up north, map & survival guide in hand, & ummed & aahed a convoluted, Cicero-quoting version of contrition.
Tory strategists were privately puzzled. After all, there were no marginal seats at stake in the city, so why go to such lengths when the city would never go Tory?
I suspect Tory High Command will most definitely hit the roof & demand a Johnsonesque gesture of atonement after the same magazine this week sneered in a similar manner at Nottingham (http://blogs.pressgazette.co.uk/wire/4298 ). Unlike Liverpool, there's a juicy crop of marginal seats in the East Midlands just waiting to be wooed by Cameron.
Fist Liverpool, now Nottingham. Which provincial city is next on the gilded rag's hit-list?