The deep state is remnants of a governance structure of sycophants and agents of a previous government operating independent of the current political leadership in pursuit of their own political agenda and objectives to frustrate and bring about the demise of the government.
The term emerged around the 1990s in Turkey and later found its way into mainstream political theory. The video, currently, in circulation allegedly depicting an individual spewing homophobic remarks in the presence of either two recent former or current officers of the State should not be taken lightly.
I have written many articles over the years on holdover sycophants of the previous regime and how they can and are undermining the government. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister and his team appear not to take heed.
The video must not only be seen for its distasteful homophobic content but in a wider context of agents of the deep state feeling emboldened to behave and operate with impunity.
If the other two persons in the video are police officers as it is alleged, it sends a clear signal of disrespect from the ranks of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to the highest civilian policy maker in the national security portfolio.
Moreover, there are allegations that other public officers attended the event and were being similarly sarcastic as well. This is not surprising because during the Jonty murder investigations, some elements within the police force attempted to spread a spurious link between the deceased and the brilliant young leader going as far as to suggest a cover up in the murder investigations.
The truth is that elements within the opposition forces have quietly promoted that narrative for some time now with the hope it will stick with certain segments of the electorate. The comment by this opposition figure is a strategic attempt to further elevate the conversation and tarnish the character of the young leader.
In fact, it’s all part of the opposition’s playbook to discredit the young leaders of the NDC while their deep state functionaries in the public service work to frustrate and slow down implementation of government’s programs.
The young leader is relatively new to the political arena and may not know, fully, the individual he is up against. I urged him to speak to folks who grew up and played marbles in the village with the individual, went to school, and played cricket with him both at home and abroad would all tell you he doesn’t like to lose, is very cunning, manipulative, crafty and opportunistic and will stop at nothing to get power.
It is said that as a young boy, when playing marbles, if he was losing, he would grab all the marbles and run home. When he is given out in a cricket game, he would argue vehemently against the umpire’s decision.
As captain of a national team, in a regional cricket tournament who failed to win despite having the best team on paper, he wrote a scathing report and threw every other player under the bus but himself, in spite of him not being in form during the championship.
While attending the school on the hill with many cannons, if he sees another schoolmate with a girl he liked from the neighbouring sister school, he would make all sorts of mischief to get her to dislike the guy and like him.
After dabbling in conservative politics with a national party, he gravitated around the leadership of the New Jewel when the political tide started to turn. However, he soon turned against the Comrade leader Maurice and the movement after he didn’t get the job he wanted despite the same leader and party had their minders in the United States took care of him after he fell flat on his face at a shipping company.
The young Prime Minister must know who he is dealing with, for these are a few from a long list of character traits, some of which are more sinister. The individual is essentially transactional by nature as he expects those whom he caused to be promoted in the public service and given scholarships to be loyal to him and do his bidding in return.
During his rule, he removed and alienated those he didn’t trust or were perceived as not supportive of him from key positions and replaced them with sycophants and party supporters. These are the persons who now make up the deep state within the government.
There are many within the deep state who would react in the same manner as the two individuals in the video. There are Permanent Secretaries who are part of the deep state that have been overheard being dismissive of the government, which they are supposed to serve.
Other senior managers, though they appear to be working for the government, are taking quiet action to frustrate and delay progress. There are other public officers who continue to promote the culture of corruption that existed during the previous government.
Those who were hand-picked for positions based on political considerations instead of competence continue to undermine the systems and proper procedures of the public service and frustrate the implementation of government programs and projects.
In spite of all of this, the decision makers at the Botanical Gardens appear either incapable or unwilling to take corrective action. I was informed that some deep state agents are so clever that they have been able to pull wool over some ministers’ eyes to get big pay cheque contracts.
The recent contracts given to two of them at the Ministry of Implementation, one who facilitated the corrupt culture and the other presided over the lowest project implementation rate in recent times, are quite disturbing.
Is the hard-working minister setting himself up for entrapment? This fits neatly with the false narrative from the opposition playbook on him that he is involved in corrupt activities.
Despite pleadings from some quarters and even a few ministers for the South American Snake, a sinister deep state agent dismissive of the government, to be moved to a lesser important ministry or be retired, in the public interest that individual continues to use flattery and pander up to some ministers to gain favour as a senior manager in important functional areas such as Climate Resilience, Tourism and Economic Development.
Similarly, I was told of a painting contract given to a known NNP loyalist in the Carenage area over his brother Sheldon Monah, a die-hard, longstanding NDC activist. Also, a business associate of the son of a leading opposition figure is now an advisor to a government minister.
The NDC government is committing a cardinal sin in politics by trying to woo these NNP loyalists who are essentially opportunists by nature. They will grasp the opportunity to benefit from the situation. However, they will still not vote for you.
Others would pretend to come over to the NDC side, and when they sense the tide has turned, they would go back to the NNP fold. This happened during the period 2008 to 2013 and, unfortunately, is happening again.
The NDC during that same period failed to dismantle the deep state apparatus in the public service. These same agents rose up after the party’s defeat to continue with their corrupt, vindictive, and spiteful ways.
I was told of a situation where a deep state sycophant who held a senior position in the Accountant General’s office and pretended to be supportive of the NDC snatched the keys of a vehicle owned by a statutory body from a NDC supporter after the party’s defeat in the 2013 elections.
Look at how former Commissioner of Police Willan Thompson was treated by deep state sycophants in the RGPF whom he failed to remove from the force after the NDC’s defeat in 2013. The NDC ministers and advisors would be foolhardy to think these deep state sycophants are working in the government’s best interest.
Although some of them can’t be removed from the service without just cause and the Hon Prime Minister must not throw caution to the wind, he has to be creative in placing these people in positions where they are not able to frustrate the government’s agenda, provide information to the opposition forces or continue to facilitate corruption.
The Hon Prime Minister and his team must know that Black Joy will stop at nothing to regain power and is not to be taken lightly. The utterances in the video were strategically aimed at certain segments of the electorate where this kind of narrative is likely to take hold.
One should ask oneself, “Why now?” After the long low-grade propaganda campaign and why public officers would feel emboldened to be seen in such a setting where hateful, homophobic remarks are made towards the head of government.
The government has done a tremendous job of implementing many of its campaign promises. However, that has not translated into increased support and votes in those marginal constituencies and among key segments of the electorate such as the youths whose perceptions of politicians are based on how well the policies impact them and their families in a direct way.
That is why it is prudent to invest sixty million of the CBI funds in 2024 in programs and initiatives that would directly benefit marginal constituencies in the corridor and extend the tax amnesty to allow small businesses more time to pay down on their arrears and to keep their tax accounts in order.
Black Joy knows figures, and he is very much aware of the margin of victories in the battleground marginal constituencies, and he understands the composition of the electorate in those areas where the votes to win these constituencies would come from.
He is clearly crafting a narrative that would work in tandem with the deep state whose principal aim is to frustrate and interrupt progress in the implementation of government programs and projects.
Black Joy is also an astute student of history and knows very well how inspite of the prudent economic policies of the first NDC government that returned Grenada to macroeconomic stability and economic growth, the party lost the 1995 election because they failed to invest in the rural economy which was in decline because of the demise of the banana industry and a drop in production of nutmeg and cocoa.
It is interesting to note that some of the decision makers and advisors now were young technicians during that period. Only time will tell if they are going to allow a repeat that would facilitate the return of the former leader.