Monday, April 30, 2012

Medical etc

After a week of diarrhoea, which came to an end yesterday, I was asked to visit haematology outpatients this morning for a checkup.  A blood test showed that platelets were down to 434, within normal range for the first time, but haemoglobin was down to 9.1. The dose of hydroxycarbamide is being maintained pending another blood test next Monday. Evidently its going to be difficult to keep both within tolerable limits and I imagine the time will come when other methods such as a transfusion will have to be adopted.

To the House at quarter to one, where the new Peruvian ambassador Julio Ernesto Muñoz Deacon came to lunch. We had an excellent discussion covering a lot of ground - Peru's rapid growth; the dependence on extractive industries; the problem of water; Peru's relations with the neighbours and particularly Brazil; the problem of inequality, and President Humala's remarkable standing in the polls.

Afterwards, sat in on questions and the first four speeches in the debate on the draft House of Lords Reform Bill. The Labour Party manifesto called for an all-elected upper House, but they see that because no two people agree on what is to be done, the issue is a perfect opportunity for making political mischief. Jan Royall's speech dwelt on the public's lack of interest in reform, particularly when so many are facing serious economic problems. Of course, the time is never right for boring constitutional changes, so we'd better leave the undemocratic appointed Lords alone for another few decades.

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