AT age 52, with a good job and a happy family, Victoria Derbyshire does not fit the profile for a potential lawbreaker. But there she was, brazen as you like, setting out her position in the pages of the Radio Times.

Ms Derbyshire featured in the “View from my sofa” Q&A at the back of the magazine. You know the sort of thing: where do you watch telly, what do you watch. Cosy and not in the least controversial. Or so Derbyshire thought.

The questioner asked the BBC broadcaster what she would do at Christmas if the rule of six was still in place. We’ll break it to have the rule of seven, she replied. Cue sharp intake of breath among readers. This must have been what it was like watching Bonnie and Clyde’s first robbery.

“We just are,” she went on, defiant. “Joining me, my husband, and our two boys will be my mum, her partner and my husband’s dad. It’s fine. We’ll do it knowing what the risks are. We’re not stupid. We’re going to be sensible and buy a thermometer gun.

“But we have to be together at Christmas. It feels almost irresponsible saying that, but I don’t think we’re alone in feeling that way. We need to see my elderly mum and my husband’s elderly dad. We just do.”

Wow. The voice of the sensible majority had roared. Finally, someone with common sense and chutzpah. It did not last.

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Within 24 hours Derbyshire had recanted and apologised. “We’ll of course continue to follow whatever rules are in place on December 25,” she tweeted.

As The Clash almost sang, she fought the law and the law won.

The shape of Christmas closer to home should become clearer today when the Scottish Government places each area in one of five tiers of restrictions.

It is like some grisly visit to Santa’s grotto, where most of the presents will be rubbish. We all want the whizz bang new toy that is tier zero, close to normality, but most of us will walk away with tier two or three, a penny whistle.

The worst hit, those in tier four, near total lockdown, will be getting the gift equivalent of an IOU.

There has been speculation about how the public and local authorities across the UK will react to the tightening of the restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.

England, notably the part where Andy Burnham is mayor, felt the stirrings of rebellion last week. Now Tory MPs in “red wall” seats have taken up the fight, demanding Boris Johnson produce an exit strategy from regional lockdowns. He got Brexit done, or part one anyway, but Lexit, full exit from lockdown, is proving beyond him.

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In Scotland, a former deputy chief constable, Tom Wood, noted a distinct change in public attitudes. “Over six months in, and facing a long winter of lockdowns, the mood in many places is resentful and rebellious,” he wrote in The Scotsman. “A mixture of being fed up, frustrated and fearful makes for a combustible combination.”

I do not expect there to be repeats of the scenes in Italy and other parts of Europe where rioting has broken out. Far more likely is that our heads will go down a little lower, our spirits will sag further, and life will be just that bit more depressing. If there are degrees of being scunnered, I would put Scotland in tier four.

You can hardly blame people for being fed up. At every turn they are being presented with complex, logic-defying rules, in many cases with no evidence to back them up.

Differences seem to be there just for the sake of it. Who among us, for example, could not have guessed that the Scottish Government’s system would have more tiers than Westminster’s?

I’m amazed they even shared the word tier and did not go for storeys or floors. Then they could have illustrated Scotland’s progress, or lack of it, with cartoons featuring a Mary, Mungo and Midge-type trio going up and down in a lift. It would only be slightly less patronising than one of Jason Leitch’s sermons.

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These new rules, like the old ones, were nodded through the Scottish Parliament with such haste you would think MSPs were chasing a bonus. 
Suggested additions, such as the Tories’ plan for a business advisory council, were well meaning but out of date already. See all those shuttered pubs and restaurants, the boarded-up businesses and the empty town centres? That is business advising you it is hurting and needs Government to pull its collective finger out.
The pandemic has exposed much in society and politics that is wanting. It used to be only Westminster that looked like it existed in its own bubble. Now Holyrood has a bubble of its own. You have to wonder how many of those MSPs so quick to agree to anything put before them, have ever run a business, or been made redundant, lost a home, or suffered any of the other blows and indignities so many have had to bear. 
If they had you can be sure they would be injecting as much effort into opening society up as they put into shutting it down.
It has been clear from the start of the pandemic that we are not all equal in the face of this crisis. 
If we did not know it before Dominic Cummings stayed in his job we certainly knew it after. From that point on the gulf between governments and the governed, the haves and the have nots, the powerful and powerless, has only become more glaring.
Most of us know which side of the divide we are on. There is the side where the surgery you need has been cancelled on the NHS, and the side where you opt to go private instead. There is the side that can afford tutors for their children, and the side that cannot even get into the local library to use a computer. There is the side that can work from home, and the side that has to catch a bus to the night shift. On it goes.
What those on the wrong side of the divide need is more practical help, and fast.  In general, we could all do with a little more hope, initiative and imagination. And yes,  one day away from the grind,  all precautions taken, would be pretty welcome too.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.