The idea of competing in elections, with no intention of turning up at Westminster, is simply absurd.
Just suppose a Down GAA team competes for the Sam Maguire Cup, but on out-dated matters of principle, vows never to play in Croke Park.
Then, when it comes to the semi-final stage, the team withdraws, claiming moral victory because of points previously scored. How absurd is that?
In politics, as is the case in sport, the contest is invariably decided where it matters - on the pitch.
For the people of Northern Ireland, and until the rules are changed, there is much to be lost or won on the Westminster pitch. And if you are not in, you can't win.