Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"USA-Land of the Free"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"USA-Land of the Free"

Article excerpt

You may think that the new procedures for foreigners entering the United States are draconian, and draconian they are, but in my experience they are not that new.

I have visited America on many occasions, including the G7 Denver summit, when I travelled with the Prime Minister on Concorde. Even when I was with Gordon Brown, travelling to IMF meetings in Washington, we were given no special privileges such as being whisked through immigration. I have no complaint about that--and neither did the Chancellor: he was one of the few ministers who preferred to be treated the same as everyone else. Later, when I visited the country to cover the American elections for GMTV, I was treated in exactly the same way.

So when, last year, at the outbreak of war with Iraq, I set out for Washington to record a programme for the BBC, I did not envisage any problems. …

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