We've had healthcare in the hands of the voluntary and private sector before – prior to the creation of the NHS – and the result was that thousands died unnecessarily from diseases such as diphtheria and polio and infant mortality rates were around one in 20. We've had education exclusively in the hands of the non-state sector before too – and the vast majority were denied a proper education. And anyone who travels regularly on the privatised railways in Britain and in the rest of Europe, where state-owned companies still dominate, won't need me to tell them that the continental railways are far superior – as well as being considerably cheaper.
You won't read about it in the Economist, or on the websites of "free market" thinktanks, but the extraordinary rise in living standards and improvements in healthcare, education and public transport – and the reductions in inequalities – which Britain enjoyed during the third quarter of the 20th century coincided with the increased role of the state. As the state's role has been reduced since 1979, so services have deteriorated and inequalities risen.