A quick thought experiment: imagine if you’d been told on January 1 of everything that lay ahead in 2016. Would you have believed that British democracy would be brought to the brink by a referendum on the EU? If you’d heard that a billionaire renowned for paying few taxes and low wages would be elected to the White House as a champion of poor Americans, would you have believed that?
The killing of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Monday evening might have prompted knee-jerk comparisons to the 1914 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, but it almost certainly won’t spark a World War One-type conflict. The lethal truck attack that killed 12 in Berlin a few hours later, however, could ratchet up the prospect of yet another political shock in Europe.