Saturday, 23 May 2009

Alan Hackney

In the wake of Hackney's death last week, it was inevitable that tributes would focus on his (and Peter Sellers') great comic creation, shop-steward Fred Kite. But although Hackney was a Thatcherite before the term was coined, "I'm All Right, Jack" not only attacked petty union dictatorsm, but also inept and crooked management.

"I'm All Right, Jack" will surely be shown by one or other of the terrestrial TV companies in tribute to Hackney. But I hope they will also show its precursor, "Private's Progress", which featured (Kite apart) most of the same cast. The two together show how the crooked NCO and the amateurish officer class of the war comedy transmuted easily into the bent management and boardroom of a certain kind of industrial company.

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