Last night, I watched—for the second or third time—the film version of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband with Cate Blanchette, Julianne Moore, Rupert Everett, and Jeremy Northam. I am a fan of Oscar Wilde (which should be obvious from the first sentence.)
I recalled the basic story, but not the details. Therefore, I was struck by one scene, in which the Jeremy Notham character, who is a government minister or something, gives a speech in Parliament. When you read the dialogue below, remember that it was written over 100 years ago. These same words could be spoken today in more than one nation…and would go Justas unheeded.
The following is an excerpt from the screenplay:
I- I find that now I must agree with my Right Honourable Friend that this is indeed an excellent scheme, a genuine opportunity. An opportunity particularly if you happen to be a corrupt investor. A corrupt investor with nothing but self-interest at heart. For now it is my utter conviction that this scheme never should have had or should ever have any chance of success. It is a fraud, an infamous fraud at that. An involvement would be a political fraud of the worst possible kind. This great nation has long been a great commercial power. Now it seems there exist a growing compulsion to use that power merely to beget more power. Money merely to beget more money. Irrespective of the true cost to the nation's soul. And it is this sickness, a kind of moral blindness, commerce without conscience, which threatens to strike at the very soul of this nation. And the only remedy that I can see is to strike back and to strike now!
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.