The other day, flicking through one of those glossy property magazines that get shoved through my letterbox, I came across this article about the Russian emigre, Leon Max, who fled the Soviet Union in the 1970s, went to the States and founded a now very successful fashion business, Max Studio. He has recently bought a beautiful stately home in Northamptonshire – Paul Marks’ stamping ground – and I sympathise with most of the sentiment behind this paragraph in the magazine, Country House: “Max admits that England’s favourable tax regime was a factor (in buying the house). He is not apologetic about this. He is an enthusiastic free marketeer and libertarian. In his own self mocking words, he says, “Considering I was brought up under Communism, I am a little to the right of Pinochet.” (There is no web link to the article).
Not sure I like the Pinochet argument – he was a torturer although no worse than most Latin American regimes and better in many ways – but I get the general idea of what Leon Max means. Frankly, if more people like him want to live in Britain, bring them on. It may partially counter a trend of emigration among smart young Britons as noted by Fraser Nelson, the journalist, in a recent article.
Perhaps Britain’s newest classical liberal think tank, Progressive Vision, should ask Leon Max for a donation.