Will 2012 be the most frightening year in living memory?

DailyMail OnlineBy Dominic Sandbrook

The dawn of a new year is usually a time of hope and ambition, of dreams for the future and thoughts of a better life. But it is a long time since many of us looked forward to the new year with such anxiety, even dread.

Here in Britain, many economists believe that by the end of 2012 we could well have slipped into a second devastating recession. The Coalition remains delicately poised; it would take only one or two resignations to provoke a wider schism and a general election. But the real dangers lie overseas. In the Middle East, the excitement of the Arab Spring has long since curdled into

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