But today middle-aged mothers must have jubilated, for who could be better qualified for state espionage than our nation's parents? We've spent years outwitting our children, decoding body language, sweet-talking officials and suppressing our pre-parent identities. Who but a parent could secure unquestioning co-operation with a jelly bean? Glean, through deft reconnaissance, the contents of other children's school lunch boxes? Infiltrate the closed ranks of a toddler group?
I've been hastily redrawing my CV to highlight my requisite skills and I suggest that you all do the same for when the secret service comes calling.
Adaptability I react unfalteringy to my official pseudonyms - 'E and G's Mother', 'Father's Wife' - without ever betraying my true identity.
Cunning I can sneak spinach undetected into every known culinary dish bar Cornflakes.
Planning With an invisible sleight of hand I can alter the vicarage clocks so that the children's bedtime arrives an hour-and-a-half early.
Discretion Monthly I infiltrate my offspring's bedroom armed only with a black bin liner and remove, untraceably, possessions that could lucratively be sold on eBay.
Memory I can store in my head three dozen vital pieces of information, including the date of next week's netball match, the price of patio roses at Nottcutts, the number of Haribos left in the oft-pilfered bribery tin, the sum of years until my kids will leave home, the digits of my overdraft, the next three months of the Sunday School rota, the start times of Strictly Come Dancing, the birthdays of twelve key 9-year-olds, the Vicar's blood pressure readings and the expiry date of Waitrose's special offer on Bendicks Bittermints.
Sleuthing Confronted with a stash of sweetie wrappers inside a Co-Op bag inside a shoe box inside my 7-year-old's wardrobe I followed the trail to the depleted contents of the aforementioned bribery tin and laid appropriate traps.
Courage I knew one explosion had gone off and another was imminent. Yet, steely-nerved and oblivious to the toxic gases, I knelt down and prised off the laden knickers of a friend's toddler last week.
Manipulation I can persuade my recalcitrant children to master their weekly spellings/endure a muddy hike/swallow a portion of peas with the power of a single word: MacDonalds.
Poise I can balance a lager, shaken, not stirred, in the midst of a vicious infant brawl and not spill a drop on the parquet.
Commitment Ten years of unreasonable demands, unpleasant threats, lengthy overtime and toxic substances have not quelled me. I remain unwaveringly devoted to my small charges.
PS Right on cue, the James Bond 007 fragrance has been launched which should convince your interviewers of your suitability should the fumes of Napisan skew their judgement.
So what skills can you offer MI6? Any disclosures will be treated with strictest confidentiality.