We live in interesting times (again). Italy now has a government without a single elected politician in it. And Italy might not be the last.

Europe has considered itself to be the cradle of democracy – systems of government in which elected politicians set the policy direction and the technocrats do the economic plumbing. Now the impotence of elected politicians has led to the technocrats running the show while the elected representatives watch from the sidelines. Maybe they are relieved. The hard decisions needed in tough times are better taken by people who don’t have to worry about constituencies or getting re-elected by people who are upset with you for spoiling their life.

However, it also calls into question the competence of elected ‘lay’ people to direct highly technically complex financial and governmental organisations. At what point will the technocrats decide that their job is done and power can be handed back to the politicians? It’s an intriguing question.

If the same move was made in the UK, I wonder who might form the government of the technocrats?

Good grief! You watch some of the novelty acts in Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor and wonder about the participants’ self-insight.

But, have a look at this extraordinary performance from three Italian lads (who look like their mummies don’t know they’ve sneaked out – probably because they are 14-15 years old) and ask what sort of culture encouraged and produced that.

So, Silvio Berlusconi is finally going to court. The abuse of power charge apparently relates to his procuring of prostitutes, some of whom were under-age.

What is amazing about this is that it is his sexual failures that have brought him to book (unless he manages to exert his usual patronage and power to escape once again) and not the big stuff about power.

For example, his massive ownership of media organs in Italy and the way this has enabled him to mediate information to his own benefit. This would be worrying enough were it not for the fact that someone in his position can occupy the position of ultimate political power in Italy. I worry about Murdoch, but at least he isn’t running to be Prime Minister or Queen.

Why does sexual misdemeanour count so heavily when other abuses of power are far more serious? This is not to say that his sexual life is irrelevant – and using power or money to buy teenagers for sex is a massive abuse of power. But, it seems that the value system is not too … er … ‘rightly balanced’ here.

Shouldn’t we be more alarmed by concentrated media ownership and its collusion with political power and patronage than about what Silvio does in bed (or to his remarkable hair)?

Just wondering.

Edit 21.09: The point I should have made clearer above is that there is no hierarchy of abuse – his sexual exploitation of girls is damnable. But it is clearly easier to get him nailed on this rather than the other stuff. That’s what is challenging.