Ian Cuthbertson works as a Software engineer and is Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the new Penistone & Stocksbridge constituency.
What do you like most about your job?
Both my day job (in IT) with a local mutual insurance company and my political and community work give me a tremendous sense of achievement and job satisfaction, though they can be very demanding and do need a lot of commitment. It’s working as part of a team that matters to me, whether I’m leading it or contributing to it as a member. And the longer-term projects I’m involved with also give me the same sense of doing something that’s worthwhile, positive and continually moving forward.
Who is or was the most important influence in your life?
Several people. First my parents, through the love and care they gave me. The senior manager who got me started in IT at a point when I had no sense of career direction. My partner Carol, who is a constant source of inspiration, guidance and support.
When my son was born – my wonderful step-children got a new baby brother. A new life beginning and such a happy day for us all.
When the government forced through the war in Iraq with the Conservatives in full support – that decision still leaves me feeling very angry about it, the way we were misled, and ashamed of what was done there in our name.
The Handy Zoom-2 handheld recorder I’ve just bought – what it can do is amazing. I love gadgets but they have to be practical and useful for me to buy them. So the 16-in-1 multi-tool that I keep in my car can be just as important.
Radio, definitely. I usually listen to Radio 4 for news, current affairs, magazine programmes and radio plays. Sometimes it’s Radio 3 for music, though I listen more to CDs and DVDs. I don’t get much time to watch TV.
Film you would most like to see?
Alexander Nevsky (an oldie) – just for the spectacle of it and the fantastic music.
What music are you listening to right now?
None – it distracts me when I’m working! I sing in one of our leading choirs and play a couple of instruments (badly!), so I love music of almost every kind – from very early music through to church music and modern jazz, from Bach to contemporary composers. I also like popular music, whether it’s from musicals or from Elvis and the Beatles onwards, though I’m not so keen on some more recent styles like rap and hiphop.
What makes you smile?
The sound of wind in the trees, seagulls by the sea, birds singing in the trees, rain falling on the leaves, children playing, the direct questions they ask, Carol whispering in my ear…
What would you most like to see put right in this world?
I’d like to see an end to injustice, poverty, prejudice and bigotry wherever it occurs – in our country or elsewhere in the world. And we can do so much towards this through education and working together.
How do you see yourself in 10 years?
To me, life’s all about attitude, a sense of purpose and making progress – so I want to carry on doing useful things and making a contribution to the community.