John Ross (academic)

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For other people of the same name, see John Ross.

John Ross is a British academic, journalist, blogger, advisor to multinationals and economic commentator who previously was a socialist political activist and worked as an economic advisor to Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London. He writes regularly for China Daily, Shanghai Daily, and He is author of the book Thatcher and Friends - the Anatomy of the Tory Party (1983).


Ross was convinced by Bob Pennington to join the Trotskyist International Marxist Group (IMG) in the late 1960s. He rapidly rose to a prominent position in the IMG, working with Pennington to form the IMG Opposition Group. Ross was arguably the central figure in the leadership of the IMG in the early 1980s as it became known as Socialist Action, but he gradually lost the support of much of its membership.[1][2][3][4]

Ross was the leader of one of three groups that emerged from the crisis of the IMG in the mid-1980s, the one which retained the name Socialist Action. It increasingly ceased to function as a normal left-wing group and became a group of advisers to Livingstone.

In Russia[edit]

During the 1990s Ross worked in Russia as an adviser to various multinationals.

Work for the Mayor of London[edit]

From 2000 to 2008 John Ross was Ken Livingstone's Policy Director of Economic and Business Policy.[5]

In Livingstone’s first administration Ross was given a variety of roles. He was responsible for:[6]

  • the economic policy for London
  • being the main point of contact with the business community
  • the Crossrail project; the economic and business parts of the London Plan
  • for London’s tourism recovery package after the Iraq war slump in tourism
  • attending the Board of the London Development Agency as the representative of the Mayor.

He wrote the journal article "Management Philosophy of the Greater London Authority".

Visiting professor in China[edit]

Ross is at present a Senior Fellow of Chongyang Institute of Finance, Renmin University of China in Beijing. From 2009 to 2012 he was a visiting professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he led research on China and the international financial crisis, and on globalisation.[7]


  • "Management Philosophy of the Greater London Authority" (2000) in Public Money & Management, Volume 21 Issue 4, pp. 35–42.
  • John Ross, Thatcher and Friends: The Anatomy of the Tory Party, Pluto Press, Arguments for Socialism series, London 1983


  1. ^ Patrick Avaakum, "Bob Pennington and the Trotskyist archipelago", Workers Liberty, April 1997, pp.42-44
  2. ^ Pitt, Bob. Review: The Economics of the Left Opposition in What Next? Marxist Discussion Journal.
  3. ^ Oliver, Johnathan. Ken Livingstone’s aides ‘in secret Marxist cell’ in The Sunday Times, January 20, 2008.
  4. ^ Bright, Martin. I now believe Ken is a disgrace to his office in London Evening Standard, January 21, 2008.
  5. ^ Greater London Authority. London's Economy Today, Issue 1, August 2002.
  6. ^ Press Release 21-6-2004 on Reappointments and Appointments by the Mayor of London on the official website for the Mayor of London
  7. ^ John Ross "Profile". 

External links[edit]