Home Secretary John Reid was meeting his ministerial team to discuss the issue of knife crime in the wake of a spate of vicious stabbings.
The meeting came amid speculation that Mr Reid was considering increasing the jail term for those caught carrying a knife from two to five years.
Times change. I can quite clearly remember "Harry" Roberts our secondary school Spanish teacher asking our class how many of us were carrying penknives. A couple of desultory hands were raised.
"And how many of you have got combs in your pockets?" he continued, only to shake his head slowly when most of us owned up confirmed it seemed in his low estimation of an effete and affected, over-groomed and under-practical generation.
I bet he'd be hounded from his job for a similar rhetorical investigation today.