OK, I know this is a few days late, but here goes.
Two women police officers each had a child, the children being of much the same age. It happened that the women were not only work colleagues, but friends outside their work as well. They worked shifts, and as one was a single mother, the other married to yet another police officer, they had problems leaving their young children. The solution was to ensure that they always worked different shifts, then one could look after both children while the other mother was at work. Seems simple enough, and a common-sense solution to the problem.
But someone told the nanny state - and the nanny state knew better.
One of the women received a visit from an employee of Ofsted, the quango charged with looking after education and, by extension, young children. He told our sensible young mother that she was breaking the law, which naturally caused her some concern as her job is to uphold the law. The transgression? Child-minding for benefit without having obtained the necessary qualifications.
Benefit, she asked? What benefit? I'm not paid for baby-sitting. Oh yes you are, she was told. You have a reciprocal arrangement and that is a benefit.
She was told she needed to attend a course to learn how to change a nappy (she's a mother, for goodness sake), obtain clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau (she's a police officer!) - and might well have been warned to expect a visit from the Inland Revenue as she had failed to declare this "benefit" on her tax return.
We are told that the regulations are being re-examined to see if they can be made more workable.
Meanwhile, a nursery attendant who had been on all the courses and had been cleared by the CRB to work with children has been found guilty of the most horrific sex attacks on children aged between 6 and 18 months.
Through the Looking Glass has nothing on life in Britain today.