Greetings from a
Rome strangely subdued despite pockets of happy Spaniards and deeply
disappointed Manchester United supporters.

Enough of
football. The better team on the night won, United did not play as they can.
Darren Fletcher was badly missed. Basta.

I have two
political observations to make before heading home.

First, may I
join in the rebuttal of Iain Dale’s suggestion that Nancy Dell’Olio might be
voting Tory
. This apparently emerged from a conversation they had while
reviewing the papers on Sky TV. I bumped into Nancy at a smart Roman restaurant
after the match and she was at great pains to tell me there was no truth in it whatsoever.
She demanded that I say something on my blog to assure any Labour supporters
who visit that she is sticking with us.

Iain, a West Ham
fan, will be very pleased that he was being discused in the early hours, and
Nancy will be pleased I did as I was told.

My second
observation  concerns the European

I have no idea
how Italian campaigns are funded, but you certainly know there is one going on.
There are posters all over the place. Big ones plastered on buildings and
hoardings. Small ones in cars and homes and shop windows.

In London
yesterday, between my home and the airport, I saw one solitary piece of
evidence that a campaign is happening. It was a Labour poster. In our front

Not a thing
between there (Gospel Oak) and Heathrow.

I know politics
is not flavour of the month, and the expenses coverage has meant nothing else
can get a look in.

But politics is
not exactly top of the pops in Italy at the moment, what with Silvio Berlusconi
and mysteries over 18 year old girls. 

But at least
there seems to be a whole lot of activity on the ground that tells you
something is going on, and it kind of matters.