Politics is a tough old game. You spend years faithfully following the leader, waiting for your turn to step forward and lead your party to glory. You listen to the boss telling you she will step down on this date, or before that election and you believe her. Then eventually when she has broken promise after promise you pass a comment about wanting to be leader and the whole of the nations press jumps on you.
Poor old Michael McDowell, he tried to be nice. Sure he believes he'd be a better leader than Mary Harney, but all he can do is wait like a gentleman for her to stand aside and then gracefully and unopposed slide into her office.
But now another woman has stuck her head up and ruined the poor mans day. Liz O'Donnell has decided that, a bit like the Irish Presidency, the leadership of the Progressive Democrats should stay in the gender and she has thrown her hat into the ring for leader of the party. Now the battle lines are drawn, and while Michael is undoubtedly the stronger politician of the two, Liz has a few cards up her sleeves, not least of which being not hated by the whole of the Irish media.
So the scene is set for a battle for leadership. Shame it will all be a bit pointless since no one has actually gotten around to asking Mary Harney her opinion. You see the two contenders can fight among themselves all they like but Mary hasn't actually stepped down or being ousted and until she does its her job and they are just tiring themselves out. One cant help but wonder if we are watching the death throws of the Progressive Democrats? With almost half of their 8 Dail deputies fighting for dominance how can it not damage the party?