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Leading article: Lighten up

They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn. But to suggest that now we have got the longest night of the year out of the way, things can (as a famous song once put it) only get better would, sadly, be stretching it a bit.

But, still, let us resist despair. The days are at least getting longer. And think what good use you could make of that extra daylight. You could settle down to listen to all 80 verses of Leonard Cohen's version of "Hallelujah" without having to fumble for the light switch. You can go to an afternoon screening of Baz Luhrmann's two hours and 45-minute film Australia and the sun might even be up when you stumble out of the cinema. Mark Hughes will have more time on the training ground to work on Manchester City's defence. OK, so none of it is hugely comforting. But just remember that, as Cohen once sang in a different context, "There is a crack in everything; That's how the light gets in."

Our advice? Just follow the light.