Parliament's debate on the Northern Ireland Protocol was a pale imitation of the oratory that prevailed the last time that unionists felt their constitutional future was in jeopardy.
Contributions by Zoom from offices and living-rooms just don't pack the same punch as those made by MPs in the bearpit of the Commons' chamber when the whites of ministerial eyes are just a few feet away.
The tone was set when the debate opened from the home of the petitions committee chair, Catherine McKinnell, with a delightful vase of pink and red roses sitting behind her.
In 1985, Ian Paisley called Margaret Thatcher a "Jezebel" over the Anglo-Irish Agreement. If any of the five DUP MPs who spoke on Monday thought the same of Boris Johnson they weren't saying so. It all felt rather flat. The DUP MPs articulated unionists' ideological opposition to the Irish Sea border, and the practical problems that it brought.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson spoke of an 80-year-old pensioner in his constituency who had a birthday gift from her son in England opened and delayed.
"In this, the centenary year of Northern Ireland, we expect the government and Prime Minister to act to address and resolve these issues and to replace the protocol with arrangements that respect Northern Ireland's place within the UK," he said.
There are no signs that the protocol is about to be scrapped.
Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Robin Walker, insisted that problems could be resolved by its "sensible implementation".
The other Northern Ireland MPs who spoke - Colum Eastwood, Stephen Farry and Claire Hanna - laid the blame for the current difficulties (as they have done many times before) at Brexit's door. Those who had hoped to hear leading lights from the ERG - like Iain Duncan Smith, John Redwood, or Bill Cash - speak in the debate were doomed to disappointment, although we did get Mark Francois.
Regardless of the lack of spark, the e-petition debate is part of the DUP's efforts to keep the protocol prominent for the Westminster village audience.
The party is not sitting back and relying purely on the current legal challenge.
Later this week, the DUP will take its case to Washington when it conducts a virtual tour of Capitol Hill, talking to various congressional offices prominent in Irish-American politics.
It will be arguing that the consensus built post-Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland has been shattered by the protocol. The DUP is trying every political and legal avenue to end the Irish Sea border. But the mundaneness of its efforts on Monday was a far cry from the days when it waltzed in and out of Downing Street, and held Prime Ministers in the palm of its hand.