I admire the work that Social Bite is doing, but its very success reminded me of a date I had in Copenhagen 18 months ago. We were chatting outside over coffee, when a boy around 11 years old approached the table asking for money, apparently fundraising for a Danish charity like the Scouts. My date refused and the boy was ushered away from the table. My date, in response to my arched eyebrow, explained that he did not believe in supporting such initiatives because he felt it was the role of government to support those in need, not the role of the people. He stated that he felt privately donating to these organisations undermined the need for government to fund the cause.
The eyebrow fell and for a brief moment in history I was speechless. It had never occured to me that donating to charity could be unhelpful behaviour. I think about this a lot now having returned to the UK and observing the state of our public services and national infrastructure. It feels particularly pertinent in reflecting on very recent headlines about the government outsourcing early years education to high street shops.