Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi
Two Politicians: in a Pickle: Silvio Berlusconi held onto his position by the skin of his teeth, Friday, while UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox resigned over a scandal surrounding his relationship with Adam Werrity. REUTERS

I write this in the chaotic aftermath of the news that U.K. Defence Secretary Liam Fox has resigned over speculation surrounding his professional relationship with his friend Adam Werrity.

It was revealed that Werrity, who had allegedly been posing as Fox's advisor, had accompanied the Defence Secretary on 18 foreign business trips in 16 months, and had inadvertently benefitted from his ties to the cabinet member.

Only a few hours ago, I watched the live stream from Italian parliament as salacious and scandalous Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi barely held on to his position after facing a parliamentary vote of confidence that gave him a majority of 316 votes to 301.

It seems mind-bogglingly ironic that on the same day a notoriously corrupt and lewd politician has narrowly saved his skin by doggedly ignoring the views and wishes of the public camped out in protest in his country's streets - not to mention the disdain of the wider international community - another politician, who prior to recent events had an almost spotless reputation, has resigned due to a lack of sound judgement on one (politically almost irrelevant) issue.

There have been no accusations of corruption in the Fox case, no charges of fraud, no licentious images of "bunga bunga" parties or allegations of paying for underage sex with prostitutes (all of which Silvio Berlusconi has faced by the barrel-load in his "illustrious" career"). But a stupid error and a media scandal have caused Liam Fox to face the consequences of his actions and step down from his position.

Sources say that it was entirely Fox's decision to resign, and that he takes full responsibility for the mistakes he has made.

One commentator on Twitter quoted him as saying: "The national interest must always come before personal interest."

If only "Il Cavaliere" would think the same.