[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.
Jim Allister … ahem, no.
David McClarty … unlikely.
Steven Agnew … he’s already confirmed that the answer would be no!
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 …