TV6 journalist and moderator Marlan Hopkinson successfully defused a remarkable hostage situation at the CCN building last night that involved a former Minister, a veteran journalist and an elderly gentleman who claimed to be a political analyst.
TV6 had constructed a panel to discuss the Chaguanas West by-election but, inadvertently, the television station created a lopsided panel.
Hopkinson’s guests were Ralph Maraj, Sunity Maharaj and Winford James. But, after a few minutes, it was evident that the gathering really comprised of Ralph Maraj, a lady who was not Ralph Maraj, a man who really was not Ralph Maraj and another man who thought he was in charge and kept interrupting Ralph Maraj to go to advertisements.
A one-man panel runs the risk of being redundant and dull. Luckily, Maraj had enough seemingly contradictory views to share on every point as he provided the most bizarre soliloquy since Smeagol discussed the pros and cons of stealing a mythical piece of jewellery in “Lord of the Rings.”
Maraj, for instance, insisted that Jack Warner would lose Chaguanas West to UNC candidate Khadijah Ameen. But he also thought Warner’s razzmatazz would hover up young voters throughout the country and might even lure some PNM supporters to the ILP.
Maharaj and James looked as though they disagreed from time to time. Perhaps they might have said so too.
But, whenever someone who was not Ralph Maraj cleared their throat, Maraj stuck his arm out like a traffic policeman and repeated his catchphrase: “Let me finish.” He then ambled on at such a leisurely pace that he surely thought he was in his own living room boring his relatives to tears.
It would not have been a stretch to imagine Maraj casually asking Maharaj to bring him a cup of tea or telling James to help wash the wares after their chat.
Not that the former PNM man and shrewd political analyst was totally unreasonable. He did allow Hopkinson to show advertisements.
After a three hour long stand-off, Maraj’s hold waned and Hopkinson convinced him to let the hostages go as the disoriented Maharaj and James were allowed to get on with their lives.
Presumably, Maraj drove around looking for small congregations of people who he could overpower with his opinions as to why the Chaguanas West by-election was very sad and incredibly exciting at the same time.
Mr Live Wire thinks the best way to dismantle unruly, anti-social groups is to let Maraj join them and talk politics.