What if David Ford and the Alliance ruling council did walk away from justice? Allister? Agnew? Hay?

[Sherlock Holmes] How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Let’s play a game of What If? for a minute …

What if David Ford meets with the Alliance Party’s ruling council and they decide to show their giant bluff card and walk away from the Department of Justice? Since a Sinn Fein Justice Minister seems to still be beyond the tolerance of the other parties, and SF are thus unlikely to support a DUP minister, who else could do it?

Assuming Alliance are out of the picture, could either a UUP or SDLP candidate gain cross-party support? More likely than before, but not for certain.

Who’s left?

Jim Allister … ahem, no.

David McClarty … unlikely.

Steven Agnew … he’s already confirmed that the answer would be no!

Steve Agnew confirming he wouldn't accept Justive Ministry

What’s left?

Cropped photo of speaker William Hay launching primary school art competition - http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/News-and-Media/Press-Releases/Assembly-Calls-on-All-Budding-Young-Artists/Perhaps the Speaker could step down, drop his tribal designation, resign from the DUP and serve as an independent Justice Minister?

A UUP or SDLP candidate suddenly seems more likely. Unless both parties decided to follow Alliance into Opposition (unlikely).

Whatever would happen, it would create a whole new paradigm up at the Assembly/Executive. Peril is what the peace process has thrived on so far. Maybe it’s what they need …

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.