"As to my personal responsibility, I can tell you even now, fully aware and having summed my life up after long contemplation, that as this country's party leader and head of state for 33 years I bear the greatest political responsibility for everything done. Did the good things outnumber the bad things, did we live in darkness and hopelessness during all those years, did mothers give birth to children, were we calm or anxious, did the people have any goals and ideals: I have no right to judge all this myself now.
The answers to all these questions can only come from our own people and our history. I am sure that they will be stern judges. I am convinced, however, that they will be fair too, categorically rejecting both political nihilism and total denigration.
I have done everything in the belief that it was good for my country. I have made mistakes along the way, but I have not committed crimes against my people. It is for these mistakes that I accept political responsibility.
Fra "The Porcupine" av Julian Barnes