Fobbed off again – by a world of obsolescence

How are we supposed to save the planet when everything you buy self-destructs?

I need a key fob to get into my car, otherwise the vehicle is rendered useless.

The battery ran out, and the keysmith explained that he could put a new one in, but it was at my risk – as they usually need to be reprogrammed when they lose their charge.

He was right of course – it died and it will cost me £100 for a bloke to come out and fix me up with a new two-inch piece of plastic with two buttons on it.

I borrowed a neighbour’s electric hedge-cutter and promptly sliced through the cable.

I unscrewed the handle to fit the wires back in. It exploded into a million tiny components... never to be re-assembled again.

My computer printer has been consigned to the bin, because the print heads clogged up after I left it unused for a couple of weeks and now it just produces unsightly psychedelic stripes.

I reckon the photos I have printed so far cost me about £17 each.

My microwave oven has an indestructible stainless steel interior to withstand wear and tear, but I know in my heart the brittle little plastic clip which holds the door shut will snap before much longer, leaving me with an expensive display cabinet, which spins round and lights up.

It’s very cleverly built-in obsolescence of course – and that’s what keeps the world turning at the end of the day, along with our slavery to consumerism.

It’s also what keeps getting buried in landfill sites, dumped in rivers and burned in incinerators.

Or ending up poisoning African kids trying to scrape a living from the mountains of unfashionable e-waste that are somehow magically transported there.

What’s my solution to all this? I’m off to Glastonbury Festival, to watch Bono pontificate in a field.