Some things don't change. Labour may be in deserved meltdown, the Lib Dems may make noises from the sidelines & Cameron's lot may already be planning for life in government. However, one thing set to continue for the forseeable future is Merseyside's status as a largely Tory-free zone. We know that, they know that.
Be that as it may, the Tories still have to make the right statements for the benefit of their membership & the local media. Last week Tory party chairman Eric Pickles popped up on the Wirral, wanting "Merseysiders" to join the Tory ranks as part of the drive to "clean-up" politics in the wake of Expensegate (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/05/29/tory-chairman-calls-for-real-merseysiders-to-join-campaign-trail-92534-23739326/ ):
"Mr Pickles said he was encouraged by the number of people from the region responding to party leader David Cameron's announcement he would open up Tory candidates to 'successful head teachers and the owners of small businesses'.
"But Mr Pickles insisted the party was not merely looking to the 'petit-bourgeois' to restore Parliament's credibility in the wake of the expenses scandal, which has rocked Westminster."
[Pickles made his comments from the relative electoral safety of Wallasey, where he also met local Tory candidates (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/05/29/conservative-candidates-meet-party-chairman-at-wallasey-town-hall-92534-23739323/ ).]
It's worth recalling that Pickles was one of the first MPs to inadvertently fess up on the BBC's Question Time about his expenses & housing arrangements earlier this year. It helped to set the ball rolling on the expenses story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MrFV4c_sVY .
Yep, cleaning up politics sure is a messy business. Just ask Eric Pickles, he's up to his neck in it.
Some of us remember the then Tory chancellor Geoffrey Howe saying in the wake of the 1981 Toxteth riots that government policy on areas such as Merseyside should be one of "managed decline". Thatcher's policies throughout her reign were zealously implemented to that end.