Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vernon Coaker and common sense on childcare

The BBC reports:

Ofsted inspectors in England have been told by ministers to show "common sense" in interpreting laws on friends helping each other with childcare.

Two mothers had been told it was illegal to look after each others' children without being registered.

The reciprocal arrangement had been seen as providing a "reward".

Fair enough. But who are the ministers telling Ofsted this?

Go over to the Daily Telegraph and you find that the chief among them is schools minister Vernon Coaker.

That is a familiar name to anyone who has followed Labour's nationalisation of childhood over the past 12 years. As a backbencher and then a minster, Coaker has been one of the chief advocates of this process.

His greatest comrade-in-arms was Hilton Dawson, who left parliament at the 2005 election. Dawson later gained his reward when he was made the new chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers.

So it is ridiculous for Coaker to call on Ofsted to use commons sense. It is doing no more than applying the law which he did more than most to bring into being.


dreamingspire said...

More generally, after the first few years of this Lab administration I remember seeing and hearing observations that the experienced parliamentary draftspersons had been pushed aside. Like the scramble to turn building societies into banks, this was bound to end in tears.
Coaker ridiculous? Ofsted also ridiculous for ordering those two policewomen to immediately stop their arrangement - they should have been allowed time to appeal, and now be compensated for their extra costs. Esther Rantzen fought the jobsworths, but we don't seem to have anyone doing that now [1]. And LDs need to show how they could encourage and enable a historically caring society to re-assert itself.
[1] A Council jobsworth has recently tried putting down a new LD Councillor in the ward next to me - disgusting. A Councillor in my ward tells me he spends quite a bit of his time fighting the Officers.

Frank Little said...

Interesting discussion on Woman's Hour today. It seems that the concept of "reward" goes back to before this Labour government.