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If I was going to develop pangs of remorse about what I’ve done, I’d have noticed the signs long ago. So, you do-gooders and apologists for every-bloody-thing and excuse-makers and be-damned god-bothering bloody priests can sod off: I’m one of the nastiest pieces of work that ever walked on two legs and, believe me, I’ve met enough real bastards to know what I’m talking about. The big joke is that everyone thinks that the doddering old white-haired man who did something in World War Two – whatever that was, I’ve heard youngsters say – was a hero because that’s what the official history tells.

They should have put me up against a wall and shot me back in 1945 instead of pinning medals on me and calling me a hero. Served my country? Bullshit. All I did was satisfy my own perverted appetites, which are pretty bloody horrible, while bringing pain, misery and humiliation to a lot of good people, most of them good-looking young women, who were all the things I wasn’t and am not: brave, loyal, courageous, determined, steadfast, and honourable. And dead, though that’s coming my way soon enough, thanks to a heart that the quacks say won’t last more than a few months. ‘But you’ve had a damned good innings,’ they tell me, all consideration, wind and piss, ‘ninety-something’s a damn good age and you have a lot to look back on.’

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