A seminar, 'Aspects of the capitalist crisis' – convened by the Party’s Economic Committee with 30 participants – was held on May 14th at the Marx Memorial Library.  Some of the main papers presented will appear in a forthcoming edition of Communist Review.

Professor John Foster’s paper focused in particular on the how far splits are likely to develop within British finance capital. And he concluded that it will be vital for the Labour Movement to proactively seek to expose this conflict of material interest and pose alternative policies that meet the needs of non-monopoly capital.
Robert Griffiths then reported that copies of an important book on the crisis – printed in India with contributions from communist and government economists in China, India, Brazil and Europe - will shortly be available.
Dr Peter Latham’s paper discussed why categorisation of the intermediate strata has been one of the most controversial aspects of Marxist class theory; re-classified ‘official’ data using Marxist categories; and concluded that the term “squeezed middle” used by Ed Miliband is a myth because the  present crisis affects all except the rich.
Professor Prem Sikka’s paper demonstrated graphically how the Coalition government and its neo-liberal predecessors aided by accountants have massively redistributed income and wealth. E.g. wages and salaries paid to employees fell from 65.1% in 1976 to 55% of GDP today. He therefore concluded that solving the present crisis requires massive redistribution of wealth and income: but doubted that the Labour leadership was ready for such a radical alternative.  
The Economic Committee therefore needs to publish the full text of these papers as soon as possible.