"Most traders have complied with the legislation - so why should a minority who refuse to comply be allowed to get away with it?""Everyone else has obeyed us, what's YOUR problem ?"
Mr Akehurst is (by proxy) exhibiting power - letting everyone know who's in charge.
You can see parallels in the business world, too. A new director or chief exec in charge of the Acme Widget company will dream up "The Acme Behaviours" - a set of key values and behaviours which will "define the company and the way it does business" (actually the dreaming up will be by some ambitious young smoothie in marketing, 18 months out of uni).
For the next few years, until the exec gets the chop or it gets quietly forgotten, everyone at Acme presenting a project or new initiative will be required to get sign-off on compliance with the Behaviours. Every document will have its behaviours check-boxes. The staff and lower management will see a blizzard of posters, mugs, training sessions and mousemats. Every ambitious climber - right up to board level - will need to demonstrate how fully bought-in they are.
The actual content of the Behaviours will be a mixture of apple-pie stuff ("we won't rip the customers off") and additional boxes which will need to be ticked. Some of the ideas may be foolish - but these, as we shall see, serve an important function.
There'll be widespread cynicism - especially among the lags who've already seen 13 similar initiatives in 15 years. But it doesn't matter. Indeed, the more ridiculous the ideas, the better. That's why Mr Akehurst's so keen on protecting the people of Hackney from the monsters in their midst, with their Imperial scales and pounds of bananas.
Because the point is not to make the company better, but to publicly demonstrate that you can enforce your will on your inferiors. It's the equivalent of the top dog making all the others roll on their backs submissively, the gangsta making a captured enemy footsoldier lick his shoes, or the Assassin leader Rashid al-Din Sinan impressing a visiting Crusader lord by asking two of his followers to jump to their deaths from the castle tower (they did so at once).
In local government and education, the creepy "Every Child Matters" initiative currently serves the function of the Acme Behaviours. It won't stop kids being beaten to death or left in burning flats, but it lets everyone (i.e. the staff - in this case local government employees and school governors - the poor consumers are only there to have "services" "delivered" to them) know who's boss.
Which brings us nicely back to Mr Akehurst, and his outrageous follow-up comment.
"One of the reasons why Hackney has often been in a mess in the past is the misconception that the rule of law stops east of the A10 and a merry state of anarchy prevails. One of the ways in which you squeeze out major crime, as shown in New York, is by zero tolerance of all the minor law and rule breaking too."That is absolutely breathtaking. William Bratton's police force were concerned about crimes which increased the perception of lawlessness - graffiti, panhandling, riding the subway with no ticket, littering, drunkenness, abusiveness, pickpocketing, soliciting, petty theft. How many people in Hackney feel less safe when they see someone selling veg from Imperial scales ?
Either he knows the "Broken Windows" comparison is nagombi and he's scrabbling for any justification he can find - in which case he's utterly cynical - or he really believes it - in which case he's idiotic. Either way it does him no credit.
Oh - and this morning it was announced that HMG are calling off the attack dogs. I'm sure Mr Akehurst will regret it, but it looks as if we may no longer read in the news about hardened villains convicted "of selling mackerel at £1.50 a pound".