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Maureen Lipman

14 July 06 13:59 GMT

We asked actress, columnist and all-round national treasure Maureen Lipman to look back at the political week.

" I'm beginning to understand why grumpy old movie stars end their days surrounded by dogs and rabbits rather than people.

They're so much more optimistic.

And I really value my dog in a week where I have felt particularly pessimistic about the mighty falling from high.

I don't just mean Zidane. I mean Prescott and Lord Levy - and if they go, they have to take somebody very big with them.

Did you say "kick ass"?

I'm also quite pessimistic about the extradition treaty which we seem to have signed up to, even though it's not even been ratified by the Senate.

These three bankers (Bermingham, Darby and... where's the other place? Mulgrew) - they could conceivably end up in orange boiler suits, chained to a lifer for a couple of years.

I think the whole treaty was a mistake. I think somebody wrote to Blunkett when he was Home Secretary, apparently saying "we gotta kick ass, Dave"; in fact, what it was saying was "you gotta lick ass, Dave".

It certainly made a lot of MPs angry yesterday. And me.

Little young Israel

The week began depressingly enough with the news that we had to send more troops into Afghanistan to keep the Taleban down. That's 900 sons of 900 mothers, as I see it.

And then there were the bombs in India. We don't know if that was al-Qaeda, but what we do know is that Islamic fundamentalists are wreaking havoc all over the world.

And yet there only seems to be one "big bad wolf" out there - and that's little young Israel, now having to fight Hamas on one side on Hezbollah on the other.

Have a go if you like

Back here, people are getting very depressed about the idea of a nuclear future. I'm probably not as depressed as most about that, because Tony Blair is right: renewables on their own are not enough.

So at least David Cameron's been having a happy week. He's been trying to get us to hug a hoodie. Bless.

He's going to be tough on the causes of crime; tough on the... causes of crime.

Dave, man: sometimes a hoodie can just be a mod, a rocker, a teddy boy, a punk, a goth - a rebel without a cause. But, you know: have a go if you like.

"

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