BORIS Johnson said at the final Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday: “We are putting our arms around every single worker.” Some might have been distracted by this latest attempt at Churchillian gravitas, blended with David Cameron “hug a hoodie” touchy-feelyness. If so, they missed an important point.

It’s just not true.

The Westminster Government is not embracing every single worker.

The employed must pin their hopes on fairness and efficiency from a Government castigated by the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty for the “harsh and uncaring ethos” of existing support systems such as Universal Credit.

The self-employed are still abandoned. Gig economy workers are currently broke. And many folk watching Boris are not workers at all. They are claimants, disabled people, students and pensioners – citizens in short.

Does the long, generous embrace of Boris Johnson reach them? Or have we all just swallowed the notion that non-workers are second-class citizens?

There was not a squeak of opposition from the floor of the Commons. Presumably, the inexorable pecking orders of life in Britain are too deeply embedded.

The Prime Minister went on: “We are making parking free for everyone attending hospital.”

Once again, no, he is not.

Within minutes social media was full of the charges being paid by health workers right now, as Boris was on his feet. Loads of clued-up, switched-on MPs must have known this claim was as yet rubbish, but still there was worshipful silence.

The National:

READ MORE: Boris Johnson: UK is 'coping very well indeed' with coronavirus

On the Prime Minister went. “Our priority has been sourcing PPE equipment for frontline staff for weeks.”

No, it hasn’t. It clearly, obviously, offensively, dangerously and absolutely hasn’t. Unless the Government’s idea of “priority action” is to gum a massive problem around for a fortnight without resolution until health workers risk their jobs by complaining on TV.

Jeremy Corbyn dutifully rambled through a list of concerns that have already aired and dealt with more thoroughly by broadcasters, including the (normally) barely watchable Piers Morgan.

Indeed, it’s hard but true to say that Corbyn completed his last turn as Labour leader as he began, failing to push home any key point or to showcase the jaw-droppingly dreadful situations uncovered nightly on TV and radio. On Tuesday’s Channel 4 News, senior clinicians in England said they would run out of respirators and intensive care beds next week. Next week. Anyone a bit alarmed about that?

Apparently not.

The final Prime Minister’s Questions before a coronavirus-enforced shutdown rumbled on, without much sense of urgency from anyone except Ian Blackford. It left you wondering if parliamentary scrutiny is really all it’s cracked up to be.

No moans as Tory MP after Tory MP started questions with stomach-churningly sycophantic tributes to the Great Leader.

No fuss in the face of blatant Government lies. No real questioning of Government strategy.

Therefore, not much actual democracy.

Then finally, one MP asked about coronavirus testing – but in the short, pointless exchange that followed there was no mention of the single case that is dominating all discussion in Britain.

No-one mentioned Prince Charles, who broke all the rules to travel “home” to Balmoral and tested positive for coronavirus after getting the test (on the NHS) which frontline health staff have been denied.

READ MORE: Did Charles have coronavirus symptoms before heading to Balmoral?

Now, all sympathy to anyone experiencing even “mild” CV symptoms. But really?

The citizens of this country have just witnessed a textbook example of royalty not being in this together, a casual act of entitlement that could jeopardise the health of others and a reminder about the enduring power of privilege, at a time when the only governing principle of civic life should be solidarity between people.

Yet no MP dared raise this.

Why not?

Of course, he’s the heir to the throne. Of course, it’s bad taste to criticise anyone who’s fallen ill. It’s a mistake to play the man, not the argument; to focus on exceptions, not rules, and to get more animated about the enduring perks of royalty than the plight of thousands of folk at risk.

But the sheer unwillingness of any MP to condemn the actions of the heir to the throne speaks volumes about the dangerous levels of deference still embedded in public life. Nicola Sturgeon was asked whether Charles and Camilla had ignored her weekend plea for second home owners and caravan owners not to travel to Scotland in the hope they could “outrun the virus”.

She cited patient confidentiality and repeated her plea for people to resist the urge to flee to the Highlands, adding: “Obviously, there are people who have homes in Scotland and people will choose to go to their homes.”

C’mon now, Nicola. Dinnae spoil your well-earned reputation for straight-talking.

The same day Charles and Camilla were travelling north to Balmoral, the First Minister confirmed ferries would no longer accept non-essential passengers on routes to Scotland’s islands in a bid to stop folk heading for second homes.

The National:

READ MORE: Why did Charles get tested for Coronavirus ahead of NHS staff?

Is anyone seriously suggesting Balmoral is not a gigantic second home? Is Prince Charles really suggesting he bides there full-time? Or do we simply not hold some people to scrutiny – even at a time like this?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that people going to holiday homes were not making “necessary journeys”. Of course, Charles and Camilla flitted a day earlier. Maybe they knew, or guessed, what was coming. Or maybe, like tens of thousands of other Londoners, they just panicked and ran.

So, it’s alright for papers, social media and TV to decry the irresponsible actions of ordinary citizens, but it’ll be interesting to see if any have words of criticism for the same, selfish behaviour by the man who would be king. You dinnae have to be a republican for that to rankle.

Since home testing kits will now miraculously be available to the rest of us within days, it may seem a tad churlish to grudge Charles his.

But there are other reasons to call out flagrant, regal double standards.

They may be legitimising the same flight to remote second homes by other entitled folk.

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp has done herself no favours by ignoring all advice and taking her family (with a confirmed coronavirus case) to her second home in Devon.

That may be the tip of a privileged iceberg.

I’ve just had an email from a friend living on a west coast “sporting” estate who reports that the resident aristocrat is steeling herself for a visit from her whole extended family, as they “do a Charles and Camilla” and head north to stay, even though some reportedly have symptoms. My friend, who lives in a wee, rented house on the estate is outraged but feels powerless to object.

That’s partly because any “clypeline” might swiftly become unreliable and unpleasant, but mostly because folk at the top of the social food chain have immunity from human intervention – if not from Covid-19. A local MSP might act, or might not fancy such an argument.

People cannot be stopped for travelling unless they are suspected of having the disease, in which case the police can detain them. But should the tenant contact the police and risk near-certain eviction? Would an overstretched police force dare to act?

All that was needed yesterday, was for one person – broadcaster, politician, MP, First Minister or Prime Minister – to say what 99% of the Scottish public were thinking. Charles should not have broken the rules to head north, but he has our sympathies while he’s ill.

Would that really have been so hard?