As I write, a rally is being held at an East Belfast Orange Hall, probably announcing David Vance as the Traditional Unionist Voice candidate to take on Peter Robinson (who is bound to lose his seat to someone, it merely remains to be seen to whom, exactly), and certainly addresed by Vance, by Party Leader Jim Allister, and by Party President Willie Ross.
Vance was previously Deputy to the arch-integrationist Bob McCartney in the United Kingdom Unionist Party, and Ross, in his days as UUP Chief Whip at Westminster, was Chairman of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Monday Club. Even Allister, erstwhile Paisley protégé, is now opposed to the devolution of Policing and Justice in terms that are really opposed to devolution itself.
The DUP is now effectively led by one of the integrationist asylum-seekers from David Trimble, but even he is now an active Conservative Party Peer, while Lady Sylvia Hermon is for all practical purposes a New Labour MP. The DUP is offering a free run, in two seats where such a candidate is bound to be the first past the post, to a UUP now subsumed into mainland Toryism.
Suddenly, integrationism is the new black, to the point of being on the brink of taking Northern Ireland's most westerly seat straight from Sinn Féin. And all just as the Assembly seems set to collapse, leading to the reintroduction of direct rule at everything short of the explicit public request of Dublin.
When, and it is surely now "when", direct rule is reintroduced, then it should be accompanied by an Act applying all Westminster legislation to Northern Ireland unless, within a suitably brief time, it is specifically disapplied by a suitably weighted majority, perhaps sixty per cent, of the Assembly. That would keep out the likes of abortion, which would never have been introduced anywhere in the United Kingdom if the Kingdom had not been partitioned in 1922, but which would exist throughout these Islands if Sinn Féin had its way.
The Assembly would continue to exist for that purpose, and for the purpose of a fortnightly, or if possible weekly, Question Time with the Secretary of State, but for no purpose beyond those two. If it made people feel better to call this a temporary arrangement, then so be it. But in practice, it would be no such thing.
Something similar would probably secure majority support within the minority that would vote at all in any referendum on the matter in Wales. In fact, rather more people than would otherwise bother might very well turn out specifically to vote for this, at least if it also contained the right to enact subordinate legislation subject to ratification by both Houses of Parliament and Royal Assent, as the General Synod of the Church of England also relates to the Crown in Parliament.
And Scotland? The devolution legislation presupposes that the Parliament of the United Kingdom should continue to legislate overridingly in all policy areas, if perhaps not quite so frequently. People who think that they were voting for something else in the devolution referendum are like people who think that they were voting for "a free trade area" called "the Common Market". That is simply not what the legislation itself says. So, let that legislation be implemented in full.
In the coming hung Parliament, it will be, with Tory, Lib Dem and indeed Labour MPs from the Highlands, Islands and Borders happily accepting Westminster's attention to their local communitarian populist causes, also the stance of their brethren from North, Mid and West Wales: "If Holyrood or Cardiff won't deliver, but Westminster will in return for our votes in the tight divisions several times per night, then Westminster is welcome to do so, the Government is therefore welcome to our votes, and the SNP and Plaid Cymru are welcome to try and explain how this is what we have to do in order to get anything done in our localities."
In fact, Plaid Cymru might even adopt the same approach. On such a basis, both of its MPs voted against the SNP with a view to saving the Callaghan Government in 1979, just as two Ulster Unionists did, whereas both Irish Nationalists abstained.