This momentous year could mark one of those rare moments when the old world order is swept away and something new, and hopefully better, emerges, says Graham Lawton

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16 December 2020

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THROUGHOUT this strange, scary but wierdly exhilarating year, an old saying has often popped into my head: “May you live in interesting times.” This supposedly ancient Chinese curse – though no such expression actually exists in the Chinese language – is meant ironically. Perhaps it is derived from an actual Chinese saying: “Better to be a dog in times of tranquillity than a human in times of chaos.”

It has been chaos, but fascinating all the same, and I don’t yearn for tranquillity just yet. I have no desire to see yet more sacrifices made and losses endured, but we …