David Cameron faces mockery from the opposition in prime minister's questions this lunchtime, after being hit by a second ministerial resignation in the Lords this week.
At first glance, 2013 offers a fresh opportunity for David Cameron to show off his statesmanlike qualities. In reality, British diplomacy is up to its grubby old tricks once again.
Britain will attempt to achieve a major diplomatic coup by fostering talks towards an EU-US trade agreement in 2013, David Cameron has revealed.
Downing Street is hoping its claim that British business figures travelling to Burma with David Cameron are "tourists" will avert criticism from elsewhere.
Behind closed doors, EU negotiations will trigger a new wave of cheap labour into Britain.
Whitehall officials are firmly focused on improving Britain's trade links with China as Wen Jiabao visits London - to the frustration of human rights campaigners.
The stakes are simply too high for diplomats to risk a confrontation with China over its human rights record.