Thursday, December 08, 2022

General Secretaries of the Labour Party

When Kalyanee Juggoo resigned as General Secretary (GS) of the Labour Party recently Arvin Boolell wondered whether with her 13 years in that post she hadn't been the longest-serving. I knew she did not. Indeed as Chart 1 shows, Kher Jagatsingh had been GS between 1961 and 1982 or for around 21 years. Furthermore, a quick Google search revealed that Kalyanee had served since 2013 so that she had been in that position for about 9 years.  

Chart 1. Kalyanee cannot be the longest-serving GS.
But given that the greatest party of the land is also at 86 years the oldest it is possible that there had been at least one GS that was there for a longer period than Kher in the two large red boxes with question marks. However some more search, see Chart 2, ruled out anybody serving longer than Kher – I cannot use KJ here for an obvious reason – after his stint because there have been quite a few between him and Kalyanee in that post for shorter a period than the latter except maybe Joseph Tsang Mang Kin whose Wikipedia entry gives contradictory information and explains the absence of his name in the charts. 

Chart 2. No one served longer than Kher after him.

But Kher might still not be the longest-serving GS because although it was a wonderful blessing for the LP that he got the job for its Silver Jubilee there are still these 25 years. All it would take for him to keep the first spot would be for the second GS to have been appointed in the WWII year of 1941. This of course assumes that the post existed at that time. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. It shouldn't be too difficult to find out. 

Kher Jagatsingh organised the Labour Party like clockwork.

Of course what matters most is not staying in a post for the longest time but having the greatest impact. And when it comes to impact we have to remember that it is widely acknowledged that Mr. Jagatsingh has left oversized shoes in each one of the Ministries that he was appointed to despite not having been there the longest in at least one of them. We should also note that Ms. Juggoo is the only woman so far in this tally and as of now the second longest-serving GS of the LP.

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