During the Select Committee’s visit to California in May, members were taken on a tour of Fox Studios in Los Angeles where, among many other productions, the Simpsons is made.


Pictured are John Whittingdale MP, Chairman of the Committee, Adrian Sanders MP, Janet Anderson MP, Bart Simpson (topiary version!) Philip Davies MP, Adam Price MP, Paul Farrelly MP, Ray Gallagher (Committee Specialist) Martin Gaunt (Committee Clerk) and Alan Keen MP

John Whittingdale again showed his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day by signing a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons to honour those who perished in the Holocaust.

As in previous years, Holocaust Educational Trust placed the Book of Commitment in the House of Commons to give MPs the opportunity to pledge that they will uphold the memory of the Holocaust and oppose hatred today.

In doing so, John paid tribute to those individuals who had the courage to ‘Stand up to Hatred’ in many different ways; by joining resistance movements such as The White Rose at the University of Munich; by speaking out to challenge the hatred being that surrounded them; or by risking their own life to rescue others in danger.

January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous concentration and extermination camp.

On and around Holocaust Memorial Day, schools, local communities and faith groups from across the UK will join together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Thousands of events are being held across the country to commemorate all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust and in more recent genocides. Ultimately the aim of the day is to motivate people – individually and collectively, to ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and victimization committed during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides are neither forgotten nor repeated again.

This year is the ninth year that the anniversary of the liberation of the camp has been officially commemorated in the UK. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the day passing the Holocaust Memorial Day resolution.

John said “Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and it should also serve as an opportunity to remember and reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Racism and hate are still very much present in our society and together we have a duty to unite our communities and “Stand Up to Hatred”. It is essential to continue to educate youngsters about the Holocaust and encourage them to work together towards a better future”.

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said:

“We are delighted that John Whittingdale is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. Holocaust Memorial Day and Holocaust education is more important now than ever. This year’s topic, “Stand Up to Hatred” highlights the importance of joining forces against hatred, prejudice and intolerance. Sadly antisemitism, Islamaphobia, Holocaust denial, racism, prejudice and even genocide still continue to pollute our world today.  At the Holocaust Educational Trust we endeavour to impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, across all communities so they can see where hate and racism can ultimately lead. It is the participation of all communities and the support of schools, local groups and local government that give this day the impact it has around the country and we applaud their commitment to ensuring the lessons of the past are learnt, acted upon and disseminated.”

 

MPs PLEDGE COMMITMENT TO HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27th January, the Holocaust Educational Trust has organised for Members of Parliament to sign the Holocaust Memorial Day Book of Commitment to honour the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and pay tribute to the bravery of those who risked their lives to help the persecuted.

From Monday 23rd January to Wednesday 25th January the Book of Commitment was placed in the House of Commons for Members to sign.
John Whittingdale said: “We must never forget the horrors of the Holocaust. Remembering the evil of fascism from the past compels us to fight racism and anti-Semitism today. We all have an obligation and role in combating bias and hate and Holocaust Memorial Day is one way to confront it.”
On January 27th schools, universities and local communities throughout the country will mark Britain’s sixth Holocaust Memorial Day. Hundreds of events are being held across Britain to commemorate all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis in the Holocaust.

This year’s theme, ‘One Person Can Make a Difference,’ celebrates the courage of the rescuers and helpers who enabled the persecuted to survive and gave them hope and friendship in a time of loneliness and despair. The theme also offers every single person in the country the opportunity to challenge their own current behaviour and moral choices, forcing themselves to ask the question – ‘What would I have done if I had been there?’

 

John supports Churches in their Petition to 10 Downing Street, 27 January 2003.

Members of the RSCM, together with others from over 200 choirs, orchestras, and other instrumental groups contributed to a petition of 8,149 signatures against the Government's plan to impose an "Arts Tax" in the form of licensing charges to churches for hosting secular concerts.
The petition was delivered to 10 Downing Street by:

John Whittingdale OBE MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport)
Baroness Peta Buscombe (Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport in the House of Lords)
Cheryl Gillan MP (Member for Chesham and Amersham)
David Meacock (the petition's organiser, professional conductor and pianist)
Dr Michael O'Connor (Warden, RSCM)
Neil Hoyle (Chief Executive, Incorporated Society of Musicians)

 

John Whittingdale attended a reception organised by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games to be briefed on preparations and on the potential benefits for Essex from London hosting the Games.


John is pictured with Olympic Gold Triple Jumper, Jonathan Edwards and Olympic Silver diver, Leon Taylor with his medal from the Athens Games in 2004.