BBC Radio 4, 14 May 2010
Set in the mid-1980s, Greed All About It chronicled the catacylsmic
changes that befell the British newspaper industry, as the old 'hot metal' forms of printing were superseded by computerized
methods with the loss of thousands of jobs. The focal point of attention was the Wapping dispute, where the trade unions demonstrated
against Rupert Murdoch and The Times.
The story centred on Ted, an old-style union leader (Ron Cook) and his upwardly mobile
daughter Alice (Sally Hawkins), Ted was a latter-day Fred Kite (of I'm All Right Jack fame); preoccupied with precedents,
he could not understand how the power of the trade union movement - so dominant in the previous decade, when they brought
down Edward Heath's Conservative government - had been completely dissolved. No one cared whether his members went on strike;
most of their jobs had been taken over by computers anyway. In Greed All About It they were largely depicted as lazy,
good-for-nothing slobs, claiming overtime and/or other benefits even though they had done nothing to deserve it.
By contrast Alice was an ambitious, upwardly mobile reporter who believed in journalistic
integrity. Charmed by the thought of working for the Murdoch organization, she willingly allowed herself to be seduced
by the thrusting - in both senses of the word - Australian Greg (Richard Dillane), a Murdoch employee out for everything he
could get. Alice ended up working for the new-style Sun in Wapping, but found that no one wanted to publish her investigative
human interest stories. The editor was far more interested in Sam Fox's breasts. The newspaper industry might permanently
changed but the content of The Sun remained the same; this is what the punters wanted.
The play ended with a recording of Bananarama's "It ain't what you do, it's the way
that you do it" - a chilling reminder of how the 1980s valued individuality yet cared little about social responsibility.
Idealists like Alice were treated as nothing more than cannon-fodder in the search for profit. The director was Gary Brown.