Now, I’m not one to necessarily condone leaving your wife of 16 years and your three kids for another woman, but on some level I approve of the mini-scandal echoing out of England (via Cambridge, Mass.): Niall Ferguson, a Harvard professor, hedge-funder, and TV presenter with, as the Daily Mail puts it, “high-level links to the Tory Party,” has thrown over his newspaper-editor wife for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born quasi-conservative feminist who wrote the script for the possibly anti-Muslim short film that got Dutch director Theo Van Gogh assassinated. Whew!
Says the Mail:
The pair are understood to have met at Time magazine’s prestigious 100 Most Influential People In The World party in New York last May. Ferguson and Ms Hirsi Ali, who have both been on the list, were introduced by Belinda Luscombe, the magazine’s art editor.
The flamboyant Ms Hirsi Ali, who was dressed in an eye-catching cobalt-blue cocktail dress, immediately captivated Ferguson, who was photographed with his arm around her waist.
On the surface, it looks pretty bad, especially since Ferguson allegedly cheated on his wife eight times in the past five years, and is also none too popular among some fellow historians, one of whom claimed, “He has the kind of face you want to punch.”
But here’s why I kind of get it: This is the conservative European version of the game that American husbands and wives play all the time—the “I Get to Fuck a Rock Star” game. You know, like if there was some chance that I could ever sleep with, say, Zooey Deschanel—purely in hope of producing a child with the most frightening eyes in the universe—my wife, Jean, would be okay with that. Right, Jean?
In the Tory universe, however, you’ve pretty much got two choices. You can engage in a Nazi-themed torture orgy, or you can pray you meet an apostate Muslim with conservative politics who also happens to be outrageously hot. And we know how many of those there are around.
All’s I’m saying is: I may not approve, but I understand. I hope Jean will, too.