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Group hug: Britain's deputy PM admits he 'cries regularly to music'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gives careers advice to school pupils at the Globe Academy in Southwark on April 5, 2011 in London, England.

Oli Scarff/2011 Getty Images

Aw. Poor Nick Clegg. Cue the violins for the British deputy prime minister.

In a surprisingly candid and lengthy interview, Mr. Clegg told the New Statesman magazine that he "cries regularly to music" and constantly worries about how the political attacks on him affect his family emotionally.

"My nine-year-old is starting to sense things and I'm having to explain things. Like he asks, 'Why are the students angry with you, Papa?'" he said.

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Mr. Clegg also revealed he's not inured to criticism.

"I'm a human being, I'm not a punchbag - I've of course got feelings."

The Liberal Democrat leader said he regrets not always being able to get the right work-life balance, and that makes him "quite miserable" and unable to do his job properly.

He has no intention of staying in politics for life.

"I think that's deeply unhealthy. I look at those people that got into politics when they were 16 and are still at it in their late sixties and think, 'My heavens above!'"

(As the Statesman pointed out, however, he might not have a choice, judging from recent opinion polls.)

The politician's admission makes us wonder: Does Stephen Harper weep at night, when he's at home alone, playing the Beatles on his piano? Does Michael Ignatieff take it personally every time his popularity dips in the polls?

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Or is poor Nick Clegg simply too sensitive (or at least shrewdly trying to convince New Statemsan readers that he's a softie?)

Weigh in: Are we too hard on our own politicians? Or does being hated just come with the job?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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