I seem to remember many moons ago drawing a parallel between the Kent Air Ambulance and the Kent Police Helicopter, and remarking what a shame it was that the taxpayer was fleeced to pay for a Police helicopter that mostly seems to hover around at night waking small children and anecdotally searching for people growing plants in their lofts with a thermal camera, while the Air Ambulance, a machine that actively saves lives daily was funded by charitable donations.
I’m still none too keen that I am paying for an expensive bauble that (I stress anecdotally) looks for people growing plants, however It has since occurred to me that the Air Ambulance is a marvellous example of important services being provided on a purely voluntary basis without any need for state coercion. I’m surprised they allow it to continue to be honest.
From the Charities Commission website:
Not quite ‘funded entirely from charitable donations’ I’ll admit, but that huge whack of ‘Trading To Raise Funds’ presumably includes voluntarily staffed charity shops selling voluntarily donated goods, as well as whatever else they can get people to part with their cash for to buy whatever it is they sell. It’s a cool flying emergency vehicle so I suppose the possibilities are endless.
It’s a big, shining example to stick in the face of whoever gainsays the anarchist or libertarian viewpoint with fears that civil society is unable to provide certain things, and that a state of some description is a necessary evil- even in the modern world where civil society is massively stunted by public health, pensions, unemployment benefits and ‘charitable’ organisations it is still possible for a massively expensive and vital emergency service to be funded on a purely voluntary basis. One wonders what else could be achieved in a world where civil society was set free to do good things?