I attended Ruskin between 1966 and 1968, on a Robert Addy Hopkinson Labour Party scholarship, leaving to take up a place and a further scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge to read political economy. I graduated 2 years later, having been excused the first year Prelims as I had obtained a distinction in the Oxford University Diploma in Social Studies at Ruskin.
My two years at Ruskin were both challenging and very happy. They were active years and I was chair of the students union during my second year. Among students in my second year, for 6 months, was a certain Denis Skinner, now, of course a household name as a staunch left-wing MP and a master of parliamentary procedure.
But 1968 in particular was a year of challenges, inside and outside. Within Ruskin I was involved in suggesting how the student could responsibly be involved in college governance. Two outside events I recall. First the invitation extended by the students to the US Black Power leader Roy Kahn and second the leading of a silent students march through Oxford in protest against Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech.
I left Cambridge to join the TUC in July 1970 as an Economic Assistant, working on regional, energy, technology, and productivity issues. The trade union movement was much stronger then, some 13 million members in well over a hundred trade unions. The times were also interesting and turbulent. The Heath governmenthad come to power and the first national miners’ strike led to the three-day week and power cuts. Later came the TUC-organised successful challenge to the Conservative government’s industrial Relations Act, in which I was involved, suggesting the use of ‘deregistration’ to defeat the measure and as a steward on the massive national demonstration against the Act by trade-unionists from all over the UK.
I left the TUC at the end of 1973 to become a senior European Commission (EC) official, primarily based in London, with the task of providing information to the Labour Movement and contributing to the development of European commission regional and social policies. Having been involved in the 1975 referendum campaign and representing the EC in northern Ireland in the late 1970s, I left the EC to become Director of European and International Affairs for British Shipbuilders. I stayed there, having now moved to Newcastle, until the privatisation of the public enterprise in the mid-1980s, when my viewswere not compatible!
In 1984 I set up an economic consultancy company conducting economic analyses to mainly public bodies and government, and advice on European research funding to UK universities. In 1997 I became Economic Adviser on EMU to the European Parliament. I concluded that assignment and in October 1998 became the Director of an organisation in Brussels conducting EU research and technology projects.
Returning to the UK in 2008 I became a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute carrying out economic projects on monetary policy and banking issues. In 2017 I was also appointed a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle University lecturing on European economic issues, including Brexit. I published a book ‘The Revolution of Civil Society’ in 2017 and have published two pamphlets on Federalism in the UK and Globally. I have also just finished collaborating on a book comparing the Federal Reserve System in the US and the European Central Bank.
I also work within my union UNITE on issues such as the economic impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and as a Labour Party activist in the North-East. I also advise the Labour Party nationally on issues and was the principal author of the National Investment Bank proposal.
Michael Lloyd, Ruskin College Alumni, 1966-68