When I buy £80 worth of diesel for my car, 60% of that expenditure is tax, and constitutes an implied purchase of government services. In other words, I have just spent £50 or so on something from government, though not necessarily for me, personally, or directly, and in all probability to be predominantly consumed by others.

The extraordinary thing is that this transaction is quite opaque. The good is not only sight unseen, but unspecified; the identity of the provider is unknown; I have bought 'blind' in the most extreme way. Is it any wonder that state services are so poor?