The NJ-born media tycoon has single-handedly reshaped American culture and global business (for better or worse). She intended to visit the UK in a few days to speak at the Royal Academy and to meet with individuals in the fashion and leisure industries. Apparently, none of this matters.
The UK Border Agency has denied her visa request because of her criminal conviction in 2004. In a highly-publicized jury trial 4 years ago, Stewart was found guilty of conspiracy and, well, lying to federal investigators in the infamous ImClone insider trading case. Okay, that’s not great, but still…
An agency spokesperson was quoted in the Telegraph:
We continue to oppose the entry to the UK of individuals where we believe their presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good or where they have been found guilty of serious criminal offences abroad.
Another British official disagreed, saying:
It is a bit silly given some of the other people allowed into the country.
Silly indeed! Last year, the UK ranked as the world’s largest supplier of military weapons. Rest assured Stewart poses no threat to their public good. (Perhaps they’re just worried she’ll pirate away their fish and chips.)
I’m no Martha Stewart fan. But these obtuse border stories make me wince. Sanity now!