We start the New Year bidding farewell to British shores and climbing to more sophisticated heights: the Iowa Republican caucus. Faced with stubborn unemployment figures and a spiralling national debt, botox clad Republican hopefuls looking more like spray-tanned Thunderbird puppets lined up to explain why they, as multi-millionaires, could solve the problems of ordinary Americans. Gone are the amphitheatres of Ancient Greece as a mouthpiece for democracy. America, as a true vision of the 21st Century, chose its very own amphitheatre as the meeting hall of the People. The Pizza parlour. Once there, Republican hopefuls, freshly rolled off the election bus, decided their Monterrey Jack munching minions had either had enough stodge for one day or were just plain bored of America’s proportional world decline and her stalling economic output, and instead talked about much lighter topics: the sins of gay marriage and America’s corrupted moral path.

Although Regan is long gone, Baroness Thatcher seems to have found an unlikely new friend in Syria’s Bashar Assad. Paying homage to the release of The Iron Lady on January 6th, Assad decided to commemorate Thatcher’s suppression of the 1980’s Miners’ Strikes by ignoring international condemnation of his regime’s bloody suppression of protests, and instead carried on regardless, deciding that mass slaughter was the best medicine for civil unrest. After all, the patient doesn’t always know what’s best for him.

Over in Middle England, perennial topic of dinner party conversation: “The Euro” appeared to be following in the footsteps of the Chicken Kiev and Chocolate Soufflé after financial group, AXA, warned of the imminent collapse of the European single currency. Other than the Slothful Spaniards and Idle Italians who, let’s face it, deserve a bit of Germanic frugality, let us first spare a thought for the thousands of housewives who will now have to find something else to talk about.

In a Guardian-esque tone, the benefits of socialised healthcare were extolled on January 7th when Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, announced that all breast implants made by French éntérprise, PIP, would be replaced at the expense of the taxpayer. Whether Mr. Lansley has any qualms replacing the bulging bellies of unsuspecting victims of evil biscuit making corporations, strapped to chairs and forced to eat chocolate digestives, remains to be seen.