After leaving school, Tom Lines worked briefly as a volunteer teacher in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was shortly before the great famine of 1973 and Ethiopia’s revolution a year later. The contrast between the lives led by Ethiopians and people in the rich world left an abiding impression, and the question of how to close that gap has never left him.
Desiring to enter journalism a few years later, his first job was with Metal Bulletin magazine, where he learnt how important primary commodities are to poor countries. Later he reported on the International Debt Crisis for Reuters, and then examined these aspects of North-South relations as a postgraduate student and a university lecturer.
Recently Tom has worked mostly on agricultural trade, including the impact of price increases on food security. He has analysed agricultural supply management and criticised the conventional theory of markets, arguing that their essential role is to mediate the relative economic power of their participants. The global crisis reminded him of his 1987 dissertation about banking regulations.
Details of Tom’s books and papers are available at www.tomlines.org.uk, where most can also be downloaded.
Tom’s work has taken him to over 50 countries, including nearly all the former USSR. In 2005 he was the Green candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon and in 2011 he completed the second Brighton Marathon.