Crikey’s protocol snout within DFAT was waxing angry this morning — so much happening, we were told.

First the Amanda saga drags on with the Italians dragging the protocol chain and refusing to send a reply to Canberra’s request that her appointment be agreed to. The snout says there’s no doubt the agreement will arrive, but Rome is furious her appointment was announced (by Crikey) before DFAT had observed the necessary formalities.

Then there’s the publicity surrounding Kevin Rudd and his wife that is making most of the department unhappy as Rudd is remembered as a man of “real integrity” and it’s felt his image is being tarnished unnecessarily.

As though that isn’t enough, we are told the current court case surrounding the conflicting testimony of two diplomats — we need to be careful here because the matters are unresolved — sends shivers down the spines of seasoned diplomats who are not taking sides; but all the publicity is drawing attention to their usually anonymous lives.

And talk about titters running through the audience; the laughter in the department is ear-shattering following the publication of the pictures of Downer and Condi in California — are they on their honeymoon or what, one wag asked.