OF course Boris and Carrie Johnson didn't break any rules last Christmas. If there's one rule for you and one rule for everyone else then it makes it tough to go wrong.

Not only does Mr Johnson tend to play by his own rules, he makes the rules. It would certainly shed light on why an odd caveat was drawn into the English Tier 4 lockdown rules last December.

Alongside a support bubble, any household with a baby under the age of one could form a childcare bubble with another household of any size and in any tier. Who had a baby aged under one last December?

The Johnsons, of course. Given that households could already form a support bubble with another adult, who could presumably provide childcare support as well as company, it seems like a piece of tailor-made guidance. I would love to suggest that's perhaps too cynical but it sadly seems entirely plausible.

Reports yesterday claimed that Boris Johnson and his wife were joined at Christmas by their friend, the political campaigner Nimco Ali. Stories about the visit also made mention of the fact Ms Ali was given a £350-a-day role as a Home Office advisor on tackling violence against women and girls, a post that was not advertised.

So she must be a good friend indeed. Alongside the Johnsons, Ms Ali also vehemently denies any wrongdoing and said the ire she had faced online since the story broke had been appalling and racially charged.

Technically, Ms Ali might have been round at Number 10 "for the purpose of providing informal childcare". And on that, the rules were clear. Childcare bubbles were not to meet for the purpose of socialising but specifically for childcare purposes.

Mrs Johnson has spoken of having had a miscarriage at the beginning of this year so perhaps over Christmas she in the often exhausting early stages of pregnancy and Mr Johnson needed a hand with their son. Perhaps not. We don't have the details and neither party is revealing anything more than a flat denial of wrongdoing.

Last December the perpetual narrative was one of "saving Christmas". Would the prime minister save Christmas? Would the first minister save Christmas? The nation was on tenterhooks waiting to see what plans might be put in place for what is, for those who celebrate it, the most important time of the year.

Nicola Sturgeon set out the legislation with the caveat that the "safest way to spend Christmas, for you and for those you love, is to stay within your own household and in your own home." The rules changed and indoor mixing was allowed in a bubble on Christmas Day only - at a minute past midnight your guests had to be booted out.

The "save Christmas" narrative was entirely unhelpful because it was based on a fantasy notion that the Covid-19 virus might respect festive pageants and take a rest for a few days, putting politicians faced the twin pressures of respecting science and popular tradition. A million op-ed pieces were spawned in an infinite spiral of arguing that the nation deserved a break from exhausting restrictions or that it was selfish for the nation to expect a break from exhausting restrictions.

This year, the "save Christmas" narrative has returned but instead is one of toy and turkey shortages. Last year we had to be grateful for the warmth of human contact and this year the festive season is being framed as one of consumer greed and panic.

Yesterday social media was a long stretch of people talking about the sacrifices they made at Christmas last year. Tales of people alone on Christmas Day with only their pet. Stories of trips cancelled, loved ones kept at an interminable distance, bereavements shouldered alone and on and on.

We don't know if Ms Ali stayed over nor how many nappies she changed. In light of what we do know, however, the anger is understandable. The guidance being given at Christmas was to follow the rules, yes, but also to take additional measures based on a sense of doing the right thing.

Mr Johnson claims to be a war time prime minister and yet he gives no sense of make do and mend. Rather, he made the most of a set of rules specifically of benefit to himself instead of leading from the front and making necessary sacrifices.

Will there be consequences? There won't. Do we expect better? We don't.