A funny thing happened last night. Eight minutes into Radio Four’s World Tonight programme on the autumn statement, we were taken to Newcastle, for the vox pop without which no BBC news programme can feel complete. Newcastle is suffering, as the tide of public sector jobs that swept in under Labour starts to ebb. Listeners were braced for a savage attack on the savage cuts, or coots as they call them there.

The three people chosen to deliver the attack were an unemployed single mother, a small businesswoman and a local poet. They completely failed to do so. Displaying a far better grasp of real life and economics than, say, the Labour front bench, each sounded positive about the tiny scraps that had been thrown to them, while understanding the need for austerity. It was an extraordinarily uplifting piece of radio. Listen to it.

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