Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rip Off Republic

The recent trend of TV programs filmed live in The Helix continued last night with Rip Off Republic on RTE. Eddie Hobbs spent 40 minutes lecturing the audience and a school room full of children about the cost of living in Ireland.

Last nights episode was about the cost of owning and running a house in Ireland from the way a solicitor can end up conveyancing the same piece of land 201 times (1 when a developer buys a large plot of land which is then broken up into 200 houses each of which goes through the conveyance process again) to the Groceries Order which prevents below cost selling and was designed to protect small local groceries which no longer exist since chains of Spars and Centras have replaced them. The Groceries order was blamed for a basket of goods bought in Ireland being 20% more expensive than the same average basket in Europe.

The show itself is a good idea, but Eddie spent the whole time talking to the audience as if they were the children. It was like a cross between a college lecture, a church evangelist and a bad stand up comedian. The whole thing was very scripted, with the audience laughter perfectly timed and polite.

Eddie ended the show asking the public to send a (clean) nappy to Micheal Martin, minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, as part of a campaign to get the Groceries Order scrapped. He was then on 2FM this morning repeating his call. Who knows maybe it will take off as a public campaign, but I doubt it, have you ever tried to get a nappy into a post box?

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