One of these days, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be free of Amanda Vanstone and normal work can resume — or so our mole hopes. Right now, there’s so much traffic between the DFAT dungeons and Crikey we hardly know where to begin. So, the new start would be as good as any.

Amanda has again set a precedent by lumbering into Rome while the current ambassador is in situ — something the mole says has never before happened, which makes DFAT people wonder what exactly it is the ambassador-designate has on Downer and Howard.

Studious leaking of her arrival at Fiumicino – Aeorporti di Roma was to no avail; it was Gay Pride day in the Italian capital, which was considered more newsworthy, so Amanda and husband Tony need not have been bundled out by a back door into a waiting embassy car.

We can report exclusively that should Kevin Rudd become PM, she will be left where she is — not so former ASIO supremo Dennis Richardson, who in ambassador in Washington, a slot Kevin has reserved for Kim Beazley; Richardson, like Rudd, is a member of the DFAT mafia and the ever-hopeful new hopeful PM will find a suitable and appropriate slot for his former compatriot whom, we understand, he holds in high regard.