Teenage Swifties restored my faith in strangers

Taylor Swift is the last of the monocultural pop icons. Put it this way: I bet you’ve heard of her. Your parents have heard of her. Your children have heard of her – and so have your grandchildren. This used to be commonplace – but not now. She transcends pop music. This might be why so much of the discussion of the Swift phenomenon has been about the facts and figures: hers is the first tour to gross more than $1 billion, while global leaders have begged for her to visit their countries due to the financial boost she brings. Not to mention her tendency to pump out new editions

How the Tories can redeem themselves in the eyes of the self-employed

Private members’ bills don’t normally make for exciting reading. They give MPs and peers a chance to let off steam if they have a bee in their bonnet, and more importantly to lay down fairly cheap political markers. Most sink without trace, since the government through its control of the Commons legislative timetable has an effective veto. But some are worth a second look. One such is Lord Hendy’s Status of Workers Bill, which got its second reading in the Lords last Friday. Currently, businesses love the idea of designating as much of their payroll as possible as self-employed independent contractors rather than employees. And not surprisingly: it saves them