There are many different schools of philosophy, but down The Anchor, we're all erring on the side of Solipsism these days.

It's taken is a while to get there though, as Brummie Dave, the O'Brien brothers and myself have thought long and hard about what it's all about.

We've dabbled in Determinism (though that was in those dark days when we were all still married) and even, when we were younger and more optimistic, Epicureanism (though that may have been down to something we ate).

But, at last, we've settled on something we can all agree on... Solipsism (i.e. the only thing I can be sure that exists is me and I'm not even convinced of that if I've been on the Leffe since 5.30pm)

As the great Gorgias said over 2000 years ago:

"Nothing exists; Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; Even if something could be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others"

Wow. This makes sense of life where before there was none, from the appointment of Roy Hodgson to putting ice in cider to the romantic poetry of Dermot O'Brien, it all now makes sense. Sort of.

However, though nothing exists other than me, that doesn't stop me thinking of the rest of the world (albeit you don't exist other than as figments of my rather complex imagination) in a kindly way, hence some tips below on Morality...

Paul Merryck's Moral Compass

Which way does the needle on your moral compass swing?

North, South, East or West?

There's only one right way and that, of course, is East (and by East what is meant is East London and Essex - NB East London no longer includes Shoreditch or Dalston because those areas are now spiritually located in West London and should be moved there perhaps as part of the Crossrail project ).

Find out which way you swing by answering the three multiple choice questions below:

  1. On walking past your local Cafe Rouge, you espy Denise, the landlady of The Anchor, sharing a nice bottle of Merlot and some Moules Marinieres, with a gentleman who isn't your genial landlord of the last 20 years, Gary. Do you:

    1. On next meeting Denise, make it clear that you will spill the beans to Gary, unless she provides you with free Stella in perpetuity
    2. Do nothing - it never happened
    3. Go straight to The Anchor and tell Gary (also tell him you know where to get hold of a shooter)
    4. Using some form of subterfuge, arrange to meet with Denise and Gary with a view to offering counselling and helping them confront the issues that are threatening to end their marriage
    Oh, so wrong, you North London Dullard and pathetic petty criminal. The odds are you are from Barnet or Enfield, or someone from Hertfordshire who will ultimately end up living alone in a bedsit in Tufnell Park and spend your life learning various forms of martial arts
    Spot on. From Chigwell to Clacton, that is the way to treat adultery. Leave it alone. It may sort itself out and, even if it doesn't, why disturb the happy equilibrium of the chemistry behind the bar when you don't have to
    Ah, methinks you hail from South of the river. You are clearly a violent halfwit who should be incarcerated in a maximum security unit or left to rot in Bermondsey for eternity and beyond. By the way, wrong answer
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, you West London Donkey! If a quick bunk up away from home doesn't sort it out, then nothing will. Remember, rational negotiation never solved anything (think N.Chamberlain)

  2. You have a new love in your life and he/she suggests that, with a view to improving your fitness level and losing weight, you should forego going to the pub one night a week to allow you both to attend a Jazzercise class. Do you:

    1. Agree, but on the condition that the jazz played must include Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk
    2. Agree enthusiastically and suggest you also start Pilates classes (whatever they are)
    3. Agree, on the condition that this will be followed up at home with a game of nude twister while listening to your old Level 42 cds
    4. End the relationship on the spot as you are clearly incompatible
    Well this just shows what a moral coward you are, my West London friend. Clearly you are so full of yourself you think a standard Jazzercise class is beneath you, but rather than suggest an evening at the Jazz Cafe watching any number of godawful quartets from Belgium, that would undoubtedly ring the death knell to your relationship, so you're prepared to compromise your appallingly effete standards and go along with something you hate. I hope they play Kenny Ball from start to finish
    Typical, boring, 'whatever you want dear', North London approach. Wrong answer, but then you probably deserve each other anyway.
    Wrong, as nobody should ever attend a Jazzercise class, but with a degree of base Sarf Londonness that draws a smidgin of grudging respect
    This is the correct response. Clearly you are a person familiar with the whole route of the A13 (the spiritual A Road to fulfilment). See 'Jazzercise' as a metaphor for spending the rest of your life trapped in an endless cycle of pointless exercise while listening to Alicia Bloody Keys (i.e. a metaphor for hell). Anyone who would suggest this clearly has the potential to be a war criminal and should be avoided

  3. A local dignitary, and do-gooder, claims that he has evidence to prove that chemicals in the lager sold in The Anchor may lead to consumers suffering from memory loss, talking utter dross for hours on end and taking frequents Mondays off sick from work. He threatens to publish a pamphlet! Do you:

    1. Arrange to have the man killed
    2. Comment on the uncanny parallel with the plot of Ibsen's 'Enemy of the People' and suggest that The Anchor be converted into a gastropub
    3. Just carry on going down the local Wetherspoons where all these symptoms already exist and nobody will notice
    4. Write to Denise and Gary and suggest they contact the Camden Brewery and start stocking some rather lovely craft beers (brewed in London don't you know)
    Yep, probably the only way. Best do it in some woods on the outskirts of Harlow
    You are a West London wanker
    You are poor and from South London and it's probably not your fault
    Craft beer is shit and so are you

When you have selected answers to the three moral dilemmas, click on the compass below to find out which way the needle on your moral compass swings