Towards a theory about nationalisation

Wanting to nationalise everything is generally, and rightly, seen as a fairly left wing idea. One which seems to run smack into the problem that Britain is a rather conservative nation. At least, that's what we take from this survey result about what should be nationalised, what should remain in the private economic sphere:

The British public is overwhelmingly in favour of keeping a range of services in public hands, a poll has shown. 

A total of 87 per cent of people are in favour of the police being run by the public sector, 84 per cent for the NHS, 83 per cent for the armed forces and 81 per cent for schools, according to statistics released by YouGov.

We can construct entirely reasonable theories about why the police and military should be government run. They are natural state services being the application of state power itself for example. We've also tried private armies and didn't like it very much, we generally refer to that period as the Wars of the Roses.

However, when we look at the fuller list we rather change our minds about this:

In the survey, which looked at 13 industries, it was only telephone and internet providers, banks and airlines that a majority of people believed the private sector should control.

There's actually a close correlation between how long something hasn't been nationalised and whether it should be run by private industry. The things which have always been state run people think should remain so, the things which were sold off decades back should be private, and as the support for nationalised operation rises so does the date at which they were get closer.

That is, the result seems to be driven by something like status quo bias. Or as we can also say, just conservatism, you know, the idea that things are about right and shouldn't be changed very much.