1997 Onwards -
Below is the text of Sir John Major’s speech at the Prostate Cancer Charity Dinner, held at The Dorchester on Thursday 18th September 2008.
SIR JOHN MAJOR:
Some may wonder why I am here -
Last year, my brother died of prostate cancer. Many -
I shall never forget seeing my brother shrink and fade: desperately trying to project hope and faith in a recovery that was never going to come. Cancer is a wicked enemy which -
The Prostate Cancer Charity fights cancer through vital research as well as offering support and information to sufferers.
Very little in life is certain, but it is encouraging that medical science continues to improve -
Advances in engineering techniques have given us insulin pumps for diabetes and cochlea implants for deafness; and there are realistic prospects of repairing more cells for those suffering from Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. It may soon even be possible to replace heart muscle cells. These are innovations that once would have seemed like black magic. Soon, what was once fantasy may be an everyday reality.
Current research may enable scientists to combine computer chip technology with pharmaceutical research to target drugs to treat specific parts of the body more effectively than ever before. Imagine the benefits to patients if chemotherapy could be so targeted in cancer treatment that it caused only minimal side effects. All this lies ahead.
I was asked to talk for a few minutes tonight about something topical. I thought, of course, of the credit crunch and recession, but however painful they are -
I’d prefer to touch on something wider.
Fifty years ago, no-
Russia and the US were the two super-
In the Industrial Revolution, it took Britain and America 50 years to double the income of their populations: China has done so in less than 10 years, and others look set to follow suit.
This extraordinary change in the world economy partly explains high energy and commodity prices, including food.
If one billion Indians -
And so does the price: this has caused panic in large importing countries like the Philippines; and food riots from Cairo to Haiti. The politics of food is moving to the front burner of controversy.
So is climate change.
One element crucial for economic and political stability everywhere is energy supply and energy security. And this is linked -
The fact that CO2 is growing at this pace is generally agreed among scientists, and most -
This sounds small -
Nations can adapt to some of the adverse effects of warming -
As yet, climate scientists are not able to predict where the flood or hurricane risks will be. We don’t yet know what parts of the world could face drought. This highlights a difficult part of the problem -
There are also time-
Here, politics intervenes. The great emerging economies have not caused this problem, but without their restraint we can't solve it. It is a difficult political sell -
Let me touch on one final change that will affect us all.
In the last fifty years, world population has grown from less than 3 billion to over 6.5 billion. It is projected to reach 8 or even 9 billion by 2050 and nearly all the growth is in the developing world.
In some countries, fertility has fallen below replacement level -
These changes -
It will need different skills and longer-
Tonight, you are here doing precisely that. It is only with your help that the charity can fund the research which is so crucial to identifying new ways to detect and cure this wretched disease.
Alas, for my brother, that research is too late. But with your help, it will come in time to save the lives of many thousands of others. And for that, I am enormously grateful.