Papa's golden girl Marina poised to take Silvio's throne
Even if Berlusconi is forced off the political stage he will still wield influence, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
The other day I came on the gem from a Facebook friend: "Someone, I can't quite remember who, recently attempted to explain Silvio's numerous election victories and continued popularity thus: 'You're at a party, it's pretty dull. Then suddenly your crazy mate zooms up in a Ferrari with a boot full of beer, cocaine and strippers. You know the place is gonna get trashed, you know you're gonna regret it in the morning, you know it's wrong, but he's got the beer, the coke and the strippers and you're addicted to cocaine."
And that, m'lud, is why Italians – who love style, exuberance, flamboyance and joie de vivre – still flock to Berlusconi, the Charlie Sheen of international politics.
It's also why – after a few months in Downing Street – on being asked a solemn question about what he had learnt as prime minister, David Cameron said: "I've learnt if the Queen asks you to a party, you say yes. And if the former Italian Prime Minister asks you to a party, it's probably safer to say no."