The isms fight back No 3966

The Archbishop of York recently criticised what he referred to as "aggressive secularism". We asked

Report by Ms de Meaner

Some of you had new isms. Others had new thoughts on the old ones. I liked the (excellent) J Seery's cheat. He sent in a long list, then wrote at the bottom: "The harm the above do to society is self-evident." Ha! £20 to Ms Du Croz, plus the Tesco vouchers. The rest get £15 each.

Aggressive secularism: failure to stifle hilarity when confronted with assertions about angels or the afterlife. Could spread the idea that dignitaries who believe in God are one bottle short of a crate.

Virulent vegetarianism: turning down a 1lb Big Daddy Rare Ribeye at a Texas barbecue. Bad for Anglo-American relations.

Democratic elitism: allocation of well-paid professional jobs by lottery. Pilot studies demonstrate that, for many jobs (eg, for surgeons), this is detrimental.

Cheerful pessimism: being resigned to the idea that Blair will stay on. Has resulted in widespread prurient interest in tabloid gossip.

Gloomy optimism: realising that Brown is about to take over. Likely to result in regular electricity surges as citizens switch off his droning on the Today programme.

Anne Du Croz

Grammatical fascism: the tendency to interrupt friends, relatives, newsreaders, et cetera with furious cries of "FEWER!". Harm's society as it mean's there's less opportunities for English to hopefully organically evolve.

David Silverman

Militant s'en foutisme: the proselytising of apathy, leaving the political field open to corrupt, self-perpetuating elites.

Dogmatic pluralism: the insistence that everyone must be different, leading to "ontological insecurity" and an atomised society.

Chronic onanism: runaway self-abuse, leading to widespread deafness, impaired vision and other ailments that would further strain a crisis-ridden NHS.

Basil Ransome-Davies

Compassionate Conservatism: indifference with a sob in its throat.

Magical realism: an excuse for novelists who cannot be bothered.

J Seery

Postmodern distantism: the way distance does strange things to the moral sense. We happily buy cheap goods even if produced by sweated labour one or two continents away. Known as "the 3,000-mile rule".

Harry Glenister

Apprehensive atheism: God is a delusion. So Richard Dawkins says. But what if Dawkins is wrong? Now I'm doubting my own disbelief! What if he doesn't really believe this and is tied to the shackles of faith? This atheism business could be a con job. Anti-atheists are always quoting G K Chesterton: "When people cease to believe in God, they come to believe not in nothing, but in anything." Which doesn't prove anything. Does it?

John O'Byrne

Ad Hockneyism: demeaning of public taste by the use of iconic artefacts to sell commodities.

Bill Greenwell

No 3969 Belles lettres

Set by Didier d'Argent

We want extracts by the original author from Notes on a Sandal, The Da Vinci Cod, Of Ice and Men, Lady Chatterley's Over (or delete a letter from another title of your choice).

Max 125 words by 8 March

Email: comp@newstatesman.co.uk