YET again, people have been asking me about a subject in the news, what with me being in the trade and all.

This time, it’s the decision by a certain supermarket chain to stop selling kitchen knives singly and only sell them in multi-packs instead.

That decision, you may be aware, was praised to the skies by the Home Office.

For the benefit of anybody else who has queries about the matter, here are the questions I’ve been asked most frequently, together with my answers:

Q: What do you think of the decision by that supermarket chain to ban the sale of single kitchen knives?

A: I think it is a decision taken with the best of intentions by a company which, like millions of people in this country, is horrified at the ever-mounting toll of death, bereavement and mutilation caused by knife crime.

Q: So banning the sale of single knives will mean would-be violent criminals will be deprived of weapons?

A: Yes indeed - unless they decide to go along to another supermarket which has yet to implement such a policy, or to any other shop which has yet to implement such a policy.

Q: You’re saying that every store banning the sale of single kitchen knives would severely reduce the availability of knives to criminals, then?

A: Yes, assuming that the criminals in question weren’t able to get hold of blades by some other means. From a kitchen drawer at home, perhaps. Or from a friend. Or by clubbing together with their friends and having the oldest-looking among them go along to a shop with the joint funds, buying a multi-pack of knives and share them out. Or stealing a multi-pack. After all, if somebody is of a mind to set about a fellow human being with a bladed weapon, they’re hardly going to have an attack of the vapours at the prospect of a spot of shoplifting.

Alternatively, they might simply take a large pair of kitchen scissors and snap the screw holding the blades together. Failing that, and if they really can’t lay their hands on a knife, they could always use some other weapon. Sheds are full of them.

Q: How effective is this measure, then?

A: About as effective as the banning of so-called zombie knives a while back.

Q: You’re just being completely cynical as usual! That’s your problem. You just sit on the sidelines making snide comments and never offer any solutions.

A: On the contrary, I have solutions which would be 100 percent guaranteed to work.

Q: Go on, then.

A: Well, in the short term, as I’ve said before, the law must be changed to mandate at least five years in custody for anybody carrying an illegal blade. In the long term, there must be a thorough investigation of why life has become so cheap in swathes of this country that lots of people, and especially lots of young people, think nothing of murdering one another.

Then we must act decisively on the findings, no matter the financial burden.

Q: Alright then, smart guy - so why is the Home Office so enthusiastic about what this supermarket is doing, then? You tell me that.

A: Certainly. The job of praising a firm for - commendably - making it slightly more difficult for young people to kill each other is a hell of a lot easier than establishing why they are killing each other in the first place - let alone actually addressing the ongoing obscene tragedy in our midst.