Now it’s pay-back time for the banks – but don’t hold your breath!

Spring is busting out all over – especially in Langmoor Gardens where these memorial cherry blossom trees in the woodland walk are a picture to behold

Philip Evans: My Isolation Diary – Day 17 (Thursday, April 2 2020)

WHEN the banks went spectacularly bust in 2008, due in no small measure to their greed and inefficiency, it was the British taxpayers who bailed them out, saving tens of thousands of jobs and allowing the fat-cats to retain their grossly inflated salaries.

Now it’s pay-back time.

Following the mind-boggling sums of money the government has promised to get Great Britain back on its feet again, our mandarins made it quite clear the banks had to play their part in providing the funds needed to get businesses up and running again.

It seems to me all sections of society are coming together to help beat this virus – apart from the banks. Now there’s a surprise.

There have been numerous reports this week of banks trying to steer those looking for support away from the funding initiatives announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, last week and persuading them to take out loans with excessive interest rates and demands for personal guarantees.

Didn’t the Chancellor make it quite clear that no one would lose their livelihood because of coronavirus?

I hope that the government comes down of those banks trying to milk this situation like a ton of bricks, holding their millionaire bosses personally to account. Certainly the Business Secretary Alok Sharmi, who fronted yesterday’s No 10 press conference, made it clear they were aware of this and would get tough on the banks.

In yesterday’s diary entry I wrote bout the inadequacy of our testing programme, particularly for the front line NHS workers and carers, and this could very well be Boris Johnson’s nemesis unless he is able to ramp up the numbers immediately.

The national Press are now referring to this as a “shambles” and it seems to me that the Prime Minister wants to unlock his isolation cell at No 10 and kick ass, delegating a senior member of the Cabinet to take sole responsibility for this, as Churchill did on many occasions in the war.

When I stepped out early this morning for my permitted daily exercise period it was fairly gloomy, but the sun came out as I turned onto Marine Parade to reveal a very tranquil setting with the sea like a sheet of glass.

Accompanied by my wife Jackie (respecting social distancing, of course), we took a detour up into Langmoor Gardens. Last night I received a call from Cobb Road resident Carl Salter to say if we wanted a good photograph for LymeOnline, we should take a look at the cherry blossom on the memorial trees along the woodland walk. We’ve also had a number sent in by readers.

They were indeed a picture to behold and lifted my spirits greatly. No matter how bad this crisis gets, nature will never let us down and Lyme will never lose its beauty.

We should hang on to those thoughts as in the coming days, I fear, we will need all the positives we can get as the number of those succumbing to this silent but deadly virus takes on frightening proportions.

In a letter to all Lyme residents, an excellent initiative if I may say so, the mayor, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE, refers to the importance of retaining such positive thoughts during these difficult days.

This an except from his letter: “While everything is about the present, there will be a time when things do return to more like normality, albeit with some residual consequences of the actions now being taken that will have to be worked through.

“However, as we often find with temporary situations of scale, sometimes things don’t return entirely as before and perhaps one thing the virus has shown us is what really matters, what the important things are, and perhaps some of the things we thought were important but actually matter less are given less prominence. Maybe that’s the positive we can take from this.”

Tonight the people of Britain are being urged to step outside their doors for another nationwide clap in recognition of the great efforts by NHS staff and carers. Last week dozens or so in Lyme joined in so let’s do it again tonight.

Stay positive – and safe.

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