The nipply Oscar dress of news
When it comes to this week's news, basically nobody knows anything. Nobody in the Lib Dems certainly seems to know anything about Lord Rennard's alleged perving, not least Lord Rennard himself. Nick Clegg doesn't seem to know anything, nor does Simon Hughes (although you get the idea the Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems has an office somewhere like here) nor Vince Cable. That said, Jo Swinson seemed to know, but just didn't sort it. All this heat and light focused on the Libs at the minute though at least gives the embattled Chris Huhne a breather, who last week had his wife's court case thrown out because the jury had never so much as seen an episode of Boston Legal.
Meanwhile Keith O'Brien, the erstwhile Cardinal of Edinburgh and St Andrews, doesn't seem to know much of what is going on either, but he's apologised and is resigning anyway. In his resignation statement, he apologises in such a way that the first glance reader thought he'd left milk out in a warm room or something, and not "unwanted behaviour" and "inappropriate contact" with other priests. He's pledged to not attend the conclave to choose Benedict XVI's successor (my plans to call it Pope-a-palooza have so far fallen on death ears) but given how other Cardinals are under pressure not to show up either, it could end up being as sparsely attended as a Northern Soul night organised by Nick Griffin.
The Vatican and Lib Dems may be struggling with their reputations at the minute but America is going for a bit of a diplomatic lovebomb of late, as opposed to the other kind. In a move that so out there it makes a full logical circuit and almost makes sense, Dennis Rodman is travelling to North Korea for some "basketball diplomacy". I've always maintained that there was no problem in the world that the principles behind Space Jam couldn't fix. Meanwhile new Secretary of State John Kerry was in Berlin this week, talking to students about his time there in the 1950's and discussed the American concept of individual liberty, saying "everyone has a right to be stupid".
Which brings us on beautifully to the Italian general election. Predictably enough given Silvio is still mucking about, the outcome has resulted in a bit of a Three Stooges Syndrome, with three distinct blocks (Bersani's centre-leftists, ex-comic Bepe Grillo's anti-austerity brigade and eternal comic Berlusconi's right wingers) doing basically the same. Market confidence is wavering like the test pilot of a car made of matchsticks driving through an Evil Knevil fire ring, but at least one thing in a very uncertain week of news is clear, this notion of circumventing the voters to let a consultant come in and advise on cuts has resulted in the firing of Mario Monti. This is a democracy for god's sake, not the movie Office Space.