Saturday, June 21, 2008

Martha, Martha, Martha - Cindy, Cindy, Cindy

Some thoughts about criminal behaviour today - starting with Martha Stewart. Martha was refused a visa to Britain because of her criminal convictions for obstructing justice a few years ago. She was planning to speak at the Royal Academy and to hold business meetings with members of the fashion and leisure industry while she was in Britain. As everyone knows, Martha served five months in prison in 2004 after her conviction for lying to federal agents investigating a sale of shares. The UK Border Agency said it would not comment on individual cases. A spokesman added: "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."

So – she was convicted and must suffer the consequences of her actions.

Now let’s look at Cindy McCain. She will never be refused a Visa to Britain, even though she was an admitted drug addict. In the mid-nineties she was addicted to prescription pain killers, she forged prescriptions and took drugs from the American Voluntary Medical Team, a third world relief organization she founded. As one writer has stated “like most ridiculously rich people, she didn't have to go to jail for her crimes and was allowed to enter a rehab program rather than face criminal charges”. She was a drug addict and people do bad things when they need drugs – but most of the world doesn’t walk away from felonious behaviour without criminal charges. She was treated leniently – as a drug addict (and mother of four children) social and family service agencies weren’t involved, she was allowed to enter a rehab program and now - she is able to get a Visa to Britain. Good thing Cindy wasn’t charged – it would make world traveling so much harder.

I know these aren't the same circumstances - Martha was charged and found guilty - Cindy was one of the lucky privileged people who weren't charged. I do suspect that if Michelle Obama had such a skeleton in her past it would be something that everyone would know. But who should be denied Visas? Martha or Cindy?

No comments: