INDUSTRY legend has it that the Sunday Life once had Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair on their front page for over a year without a break. That’s when Johnny was loyalist royalty in Belfast and not sitting in a bedsit in Troon watching his tattoos fade with his notoriety.

Squinter brings it up because he reckons this could be the third week in a row he’s mentioned Jamie Bryson, which – let’s face it – could be heading towards fixation. But just as the Sunday papers found it impossible to ignore the Shankill’s baldy muscleman because of his habit of getting into scrapes, so Squinter finds it hard to ignore the Donaghadee Dynamo, such is the frequency with which he hurls himself into the public discourse.

All of which is by way of apologising for the recent lack of variety in this column and preparing you for another act from the non-stop drama that is the life of Loyal Ulster’s most famous taxi-dispatcher-turned-paralegal; indeed, Loyal Ulster’s only taxi-dispatcher-turned-paralegal.

“Power-sharing or Protocol,” warned Jamie as the prospect of the DUP abandoning its Stormont boycott loomed ever larger, “you can’t have both.” Now that it’s turned out that you can indeed have both, now that the Sinn Féin/IRA fox is back in charge of the henhouse despite Jamie’s best efforts at pest control, his stock has fallen in circles where he was once venerated as a seer and sage. Abandoned by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson just before the DUP leader had his collarette felt, Jamie has cut a rather forlorn figure of late as ’Chelle and Emms do their BFF act on the world stage and his former favourite, Pootsy, in taking up the Stormont gavel has not only taken the Stormont canteen soup but the croutons and the side sandwich too.

And just as Iran rained missiles down on Israel after the attack on its Damascus consulate, so Jamie has resolved that the DUP insult to the memory of Willie Frazer must be avenged. And after agonising over his options for a week or two,  Jamie’s decided that unseating interim party leader Gavin Robinson in East Belfast is the exocet missile he will launch at his former allies’ lines.

For the purposes of complete clarity, the nomination papers have not been submitted and Jamie says at this point he’s merely “considering” a general election run on the far side of the Lagan, so he’s keeping his options open. Why’s that important? Well, he said that if he did run it would be as a TUV-approved candidate, a claim that his chums at Jim Allister Towers were quick to disavow any knowledge of. So he’s leaving the way open for a diplomatic retreat, just as he has in the past, notably when he called off his hunger strike after ninety minutes when he learned that the Bengal Nights carry-out in Maghaberry village was doing a starter, main and tin of Coke for twelve quid. And, let’s be honest here, who could blame him for that?

Squinter has no doubt that Jamie will plough ahead with an assault on East without the TUV heavy artillery, should he decide that’s the right thing to do. But since Jamie has spent two-thirds of his life in North Down and is still considered a Belfast blow-in, it falls to Squinter to warn him that not every living room in the east of the city is a replica of Uncle Andy’s. The residents of the terraced homes on the other side of and above the Ormeau Embankment are a pretty mixed bunch, religiously and ethnically, and the further you head towards Stormont and beyond, property prices and square footage increase significantly and demographics have been turned upside down, to the point where a canvasser knocking on a door is more likely to hear a child practising on a violin than a flute and a hallway is as likely to have hurleys than hockey sticks.

And what’s the best way to put this? While Jamie may conceivably get a hearing or even a vote in the mural- and flag-rich streets closer to the city centre, the further out of town he strays the less his SuperProd persona is going to appeal to people whose first thought on seeing a flag on a lamppost is what it’s going to do to property prices? But who knows, he could still, with a fair wind and decent weather on polling day, push up his record of 167 votes to 170.