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About the strip > The 20s


Alex embarked on his new career in politics, but seemed to be a past master at the skills involved.

16 Jan 20

The oft-postponed Brexit finally look set to happen on January 31st. Alex was in a celebratory mood, though others dampened his enthusiasm.

31 Jan 20

A new and unknown virus was spreading in China. Alex’s reporter brother Greg was on the scene to relay distressing scenes.

19 Feb 20

As the pandemic spread throughout the world global stock markets collapsed. Alex and Clive were reflective.

10 Mar 20

As a full lockdown of society was announced panic-buying soon ensued of key goods like toilet paper and hand sanitisers.

16 Mar 20

A new acronym was born WFH (working from home) as lockdown meant that professional City workers could no longer commute into their offices.

23 Mar 20

With no end in sight to lockdown and working from home looking to be here to stay people were giving some thought to self-improvement.

15 Apr 20

There was a new tradition on a Thursday evening at 7pm - “Clap for our Carers” in which people went outside to give a round of applause to our hard-working NHS staff. Alex, as ever, missed the point.

23 Apr 20

The middle class dinner party had changed a lot in just a few months. For a start such events could now only happen if conducted online.

04 May 20

Lockdown home working conditions weren’t helped by that summer’s heatwave.

02 Jun 20

The Black Lives Matter movement was gaining strength in the UK. One of their prime objectives was pulling down statues of historical figures associated with the slave trade.

17 Jun 20

The wearing of face masks in public was being promoted by Boris Johnson’s government for obvious reasons.

16 Jul 20

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme by which the government subsidised the price of restaurant meals to stimulate the economy was much praised at the time, though not everyone approved.

10 Aug 20

Some restaurants which had remained cautiously closed during the pandemic were now setting reopening dates, though had to conform with the still-in-place social distancing rules.

16 Sep 20

The US Presidential Election was won by Democrat Joe Biden, though it was a tight-run thing on the night and the eventual result was hotly contested with accusations of electoral fraud from the Republicans.

09 Nov 20

Generational debate was still raging in the Masterley household between Alex and his son Christopher.

13 Nov 20

By December it looked like the Government had miscalculated badly in easing lockdown and that a new wave of Covid was on its way. Alex had a festive dream.

16 Dec 20


The year started in familiar fashion with a new national lockdown announced on January 6th. Working via Zoom was now acquiring an ethos of its own.

25 Jan 21

Ironically the pandemic had provided ideal conditions for financial deals and City bonuses reflected this. Clearly this was not something that could be advertised.

03 Feb 21

There was heavy snowfall in the UK in early February, which had special implications for those working from home.

09 Feb 21

The Covid pandemic was bringing about major sociological changes. With working from home looking set to stay many people chose to relocate to the country, leading to run-ins with locals.

15 Feb 21

Some people took the edict to work from home even further and used lockdown as an excuse to hole up for the winter in their skiing chalets.

24 Feb 21

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak had to deliver his second Budget under very testing economic conditions. Alex was recruited to help.

03 Mar 21

In April Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented Step Two of his “Roadmap” to normality and restaurants were allowed to open again for outdoor dining only.

12 Apr 21

The pandemic had ironically created vibrant economic conditions for financial deals and investment banks’ beleaguered juniors publicly protested about their workload.

19 Apr 21

Greensill Capital, a supply-chain financing company, collapsed and questions were asked about the role of former Prime Minister David Cameron, who was retained as an adviser to the company.

26 Apr 21

May 17th was set as the date on which restaurants and other establishments could fully reopen for business. Alex could hardly contain himself.

03 May 21

Lockdown was aggravating marital tensions in many a middle-class professional household. There was a solution to which many resorted.

19 May 21

Society gradually began to open up as the threat from Covid seemingly receded. But certain aspects of life had changed irrevocably.

10 Jun 21

There was a space race among billionaires, with Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson vying to launch their rockets first.

18 Jun 21

With an end to lockdown in sight, the UK hosted the G7 economic summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall under the slogan “Build Back Better”.

21 Jun 21

Stage Four of the Roadmap to full reopening was delayed until mid July to permit further vaccine rollout, leaving the country still operating under complex social restrictions.

12 Jul 21

The postponed Euro 2020 football tournament was confusingly held in Summer 2021. England reached the final, only to lose on penalties to Italy. But there was good news as the lifting of foreign travel restrictions was due to end on July 19th.

13 Jul 21

There was a new social breed - the anti-vaxxer, who subscribed to various conspiracy theories about the supposed evils of the vaccines being produced to counter Covid.

01 Sep 21

September saw a national petrol shortage caused by Brexit and/or Covid (underline your favoured scapegoat) with petrol station forecourts running dry across the UK.

29 Sep 21

Britain had taken a gamble by lifting almost all Covid restrictions, but elsewhere in the world there were still strict quarantine rules, as Alex’s former colleague Brian McGure discovered on his return to Hong Kong.

20 Oct 21

By autumn life was pretty much back to normal, but many people still had safety concerns when venturing out.

17 Nov 21

As Covid testing became more sophisticated people were increasingly being “pinged” by the NHS app due to having been in contact with someone who’d tested positive.

19 Nov 21

The financial world was moving on, to the dismay of Alex’s generation of bankers. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain were now the main game in town if you were looking to move jobs.

01 Dec 21

Foreign travel was still encumbered by onerous restrictions imposed by many overseas destinations. This was not always unwelcome.

15 Dec 21

Just when we thought Covid was all over, along came the Omicron variant, like an 80s Hollywood movie villain springing back to life, and as Christmas approached social events were cancelled all over again.

17 Dec 21


As the ever-bullish City economists issued their predictions for 2022 little did they know that the year was going to prove to be something of a curate’s egg from a financial perspective.

05 Jan 22

Compliance’s mission creep now extended to checking people’s mobile phones for illicit WhatsApp messages.

18 Jan 22

Wordle, an online word game devised by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, was the internet craze of the year.

26 Jan 22

Cryptocurrencies had been on a rollercoaster ride for a number of years, but by early 2022 they seemed to be inexorably succumbing to the laws of financial gravity.

08 Feb 22

The biggest news story of the year broke on February 24th when Russia invaded Ukraine in Vladimir Putin’s self-styled “special military operation”.

01 Mar 22

The Russia-Ukraine war quickly became the only subject of conversations at middle-class dinner parties.

08 Mar 22

Among the older generation the sudden escalation of military tensions between East and West brought back memories of the darkest days of the Cold War.

21 Mar 22

Russia’s sudden pariah status panicked many City firms into rapidly divesting themselves of all their Russian business interests.

28 Mar 22

A new acronym was entering the language, TWAT, which referred to an employee who only deigned to come into work three days a week. It spawned what was to become Alex’s most popular cartoon of all time.

07 Apr 22

2022 was to prove to be a year of strikes, yet remarkably the first workers to down tools were the City’s Financial Regulators.

27 Apr 22

Sir Paul McCartney celebrated his 80th birthday by headlining Glastonbury, bringing a tear to many people’s eyes.

04 Jul 22

American boss Cyrus and Clive’s ex-wife Bridget, who had been romantically involved for a number of years, finally got engaged.

06 Jul 22

Banks had been dipping their toes into the financial potential of the Metaverse, but then along came the tech crash.

22 Aug 22

Liz Truss’s short and disastrous tenure as Prime Minister did few favours for Alex’s political career.

08 Sep 22

Amid all the other crises that 2022 had thrown up, Covid had taken a bit of a backseat, but it was still on people's minds 

13 Sep 22

The government proposed the removal of the cap on bankers’ bonuses that had been imposed by the EU after the financial crisis. This produced consternation from an unlikely source.

20 Sep 22

“Quiet quitting” was the new watchword among younger workers disillusioned with the corporate world.

30 Sep 22

Cyrus and Bridget’s big day came. Alex was of the persuasion that marriage would bring some positive changes to his former boss.

11 Oct 22

The reasons behind Alex’s wooing of Megabank's clients soon became clear as rumours spread in the City that he was launching his own financial boutique.

21 Nov 22

November in Qatar was the rather unlikely setting for the Men’s Football World Cup. Following a run of good form in recent tournaments the England team reverted to type and got knocked out by France in the quarter finals.

14 Dec 22


2023 was set to be a year of industrial unrest. Already strikes were beginning to paralyse the normal functioning of the business world.

01 Feb 23

Cyrus whisked his new bride Bridget off for a surprise Valentine’s mini break in Paris.

16 Feb 23

Alex’s financial boutique appeared to be thriving. But appearances can be deceptive.

21 Feb 23

Alex’s aggressive poaching of former colleagues from Megabank led to a stand-off with his old boss Cyrus.

01 Mar 23

Nervousness about tech stocks caused a run on Californian banks, causing several of them to go under.

14 Mar 23

Back in Europe Credit Suisse went bust too due to failures in risk management. Clive got the inside track from one of their compliance officers.

23 Mar 23

Clive’s job at Megabank was untenable now that Cyrus no longer needed him to to pay Bridget’s alimony and the inevitable soon came to pass.

19 Apr 23

Alex met up with an old friend who had made a fortune in hedge funds. A predictable clash of egos ensued.

22 May 23

Banks were becoming increasingly woke. Even bankers to the gentry Coutts were alleged to have been terminating the accounts of customers whose values they disapproved of.

11 Jul 23

Clive had a late night conversation with a chatbot, in which it revealed AI's plans for world domination.

17 Jul 23

The summer social season resumed properly for the first time since the pandemic, but it faced new threats.

28 Jul 23

AI was finding increasingly widespread uses in the financial world. .

11 Sep 23

The City of London was struggling in the wake of Brexit, but some banks had set up timely operations in Paris.

28 Sep 23

Alex had studiously avoided offering the unemployed Clive a job at his financial boutique, but finally Clive was invited in for interview.

02 Oct 23

With Labour 20% ahead in the option polls, the ailing Conservative government decided to shore up its position by, er, abolishing the cap on bankers’ bonuses. A sure vote-winner, that..

30 Oct 23

In increasingly radicalised times security at banks needed to be more vigilant than ever.

09 Nov 23

Worried about the threat to Megabank’s clients and staff from Alex’s boutique, Cyrus sent his PA, Sasha, to act as a spy in Alex’s camp.

21 Nov 23

Clive’s ex-table dancer friend Fabergé, now the proud possessor of an MBA, made an unexpected return to the cartoon.

05 Dec 23

Another regular character reappeared: Alex’s erstwhile client Santa Claus, whose present-delivery business was having difficulty fitting in with the ethos of the modern corporate world.

11 Dec 23