Pride & Prejudice & Factories

Have been watching North & South, an old BBC dramatization of the Elizabeth Haskell novel about which I know nothing. It's well done, though a step down from Pride & Prejudice -- a bit more obvious, though maybe that is what you get if you set the story in the middle class!

I note it because Adam Smith comes off well in one of the early scenes. In a discussion about the treatment of workers, the old parson who wants workers to be treated like Christians becomes an ally of the irreligious, hard-but-fair leading man because it turns out treating workers well is good for business. A period drama portraying the hard lives of factory workers at the turn of the twentieth century, but yet shows the factory owner to be humane is a pleasant surprise.

Actually the same scene sort of hints at many current issues: Irish immigrants doing work the English won't do, union demands causing entire industries to pack up and move overseas (in this case, to America).