Parenting gurus have always claimed to possess unique insights that gave them privileged access to the higher truth about childrearing. But recently the rivalry between competing sects of super-nannies has turned into civil war. Vicious attacks on the no-nonsense Gina Ford by contributors to Mumsnet.com forced this website to apologise and pay a five-figure sum to settle a libel action. Last week the anger of self-righteous mothers found a new target: the tough-love advocate Claire Verity. Protests by angry mothers have forced Verity to stay away from The Baby Show at Earls Court. Ford has also joined the battle, writing to the NSPCC denouncing Verity's techniques as almost a threat to young lives.