Alex At War
When Alex first began life as a fresh-faced Yuppie back in the late 1980s it was still the era of Cold War. Russia and West existed in a permanent military stand-off and everyone lived in fear of nuclear annihilation. Obviously it could never happen today...
Alex’s brother Greg was a war correspondent, who had done time in Afghanistan reporting on the Soviet troop withdrawals. He came to stay with Alex and Penny.
Greg was sent on various assignments in the war-torn Middle East, reporting back on the graphic horrors of war.
One war it seemed at last was over. The Berlin Wall came down in October 1989, symbolically bringing an end to the Cold War.
But peace wasn’t to last. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm kicked off in 1991. Greg was embedded with the Allied troops in Saudi Arabia.
There were various parallels between the Gulf War and the global economy which was in the throes of a recession.
Clive was so traumatised by the Gulf War that he sought refuge in a men’s therapy group.
Kuwait was successfully liberated and the allied countries staged victory parades, but there were economic costs.
Conflict continued in Iraq with fears that it could re-escalate into all-out war at any time.
A popular book called The Coming War with Japan depicted a future conflict between the West and the growing economic might of Japan. In reality Japan’s economy stalled after 1987 and the war never materialised, apart from in the Alex cartoon.
The dismantling of the Soviet Union had given hope that conflict between East and West would be over and the Russians were divesting themselves of some of their military hardware.
Military conflict raged in the former Yugoslavia throughout most of the 1990s. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was subsequently prosecuted for war crimes.
In 1999 Alex’s bank was taken over by Über Bank of Germany, which gave Alex an excuse for some nostalgic wallowing about the days of Colditz and Stalag Luft III.
It was the 21st Century, the Soviet Union was a relic of the past and Russia had embarked on the capitalist path. But who had actually won the Cold War?
In 2006 Alex revisited World War Two for an exhibition at the British Museum celebrating the history of the British newspaper.
The prospect of war seemed now so remote that the army was selling off its equipment to civilians. Alex recognised the status symbol potential.
Peace was still being given a chance as the 100th anniversary of the First World War approached.
Christmas 2014 marked the centenary of the famous WW1 football match in no man’s land.
Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water Vladimir Putin turned out to have other ideas.