WHEN Jesus was trying to persuade his disciples to live fulfilling lives he warned against the corrupting perils of wealth and power with the memorable idiom about camels slipping more easily through the eye of a needle than rich men making it into heaven.

The rapper Notorious B.I.G riffed on the same issue: "Mo money, mo problems."

You can decide which chap had it snappier but both describe a universal issue that's plagued humanity for millennia: with great power comes great responsibility, but with great power also comes the impetus to act with unfettered entitlement, trampling anyone in your way.

If it wasn't so utterly serious, so bone-crunchingly grim, then watching the astounding fudges created by our alleged betters to excuse their tawdry behaviour would be almost entertaining.

Current headlines are dominated by three amigos, otherwise disparate figures brought together by the sheer force of their brass necked self-involvement.

Prime minister Boris Johnson, Prince Andrew and the tennis star Novak Djokovic, shamed across the front pages, all share in common the fact they are buoyed by the same lifting tide of entitlement, an entitlement so untroubled, so untrammelled, that it allows them to present absolute nonsense as fact.

In his now infamous interview with Newsnight, Prince Andrew went with the "I did not have sweat on that woman" defence when questioned about his interactions, or lack thereof, with Virginia Giuffre. Emily Maitlis put it to the Duke of York that Ms Guiffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17, had a very vivid account of the evening she alleges they met, which includes the prince "profusely sweating".

Rather than a simple denial, Andrew simply denied he sweats at all. Who but the most entitled would think that might wash? Or dry.

His accuser, Virginia Giuffre, is determined to go to trial, her lawyer has said. While the prince strenuously denies all allegations, he is apparently looking to sell his multi-million Swiss chalet to raise the money for an out-of-court settlement, ensuring his money and connections protect him.

The prime minister was at a party in the Downing Street garden on same day Oliver Dowden, then culture secretary, emphasised that Covid restrictions in England only allowed individuals to meet one person outwith their household.

His non-apology to voters smacked of nothing but contempt. He simply wandered into his garden, there were dozens of people there drinking alcohol and eating party sausages, and so Mr Johnson joined alongside, "believing implicitly that this was a work event."

In Scotland we’ve had our own ideological wrangles. When is a pub a nightclub? Is a pie a meal? What is a stand up pint? But a large group of people eating, drinking and making general merry is a party by even the loosest definition.

He has previously denied here were any parties, then denied that he knew of any, giving up on each subsequent defence as fresh evidence emerged.

And what of Novak Djokovic? Anyone is free of course to refuse to be vaccinated, just as we are free to judge them as selfish.

But if you make that choice you would expect to live with the consequences. In the case of the men's tennis world number one, the price of that choice was that he would be unable to defend his Australian Open Title in a country for which vaccination was an essential entry requirement.

You would think the sporting elite would understand the need for rules. But no-Vacc did not think Australia’s rules should apply to him, and he has argued - in a country whose residents have submitted to repeated lockdowns and stringent travel restrictions - that he should be exempt.

His exemption hopes relied on the claim that he had tested positive for Covid on December 16, therefore did not need vaccination.

A shame then, that it soon emerged that he had attended - unmasked - a presentation for the Tennis Association of Belgrade and also the unveiling of a stamp in his honour on December 17.

A fatal blow to his chances? Not a bit of it. A hasty clarification: the test and result were originally declared as on the 16th but in fact he had not known the result was positive until he needed a vi… I mean, until after he attended these events. Djokovic may yet play in Melbourne.

In exchange for wealth, privilege, a place in the public eye, these people should aim to behave impeccably and with probity yet the very opposite is true.

I don't sweat, I'm not sure what a party is, covid rules do not apply - these all are merely sheer contempt for an unwashed public, a vanity in thinking their power and wealth mean they can act with impunity and no one will notice. If they do notice, no one will dare to correct them.

There is a sense that all these men should be, in Keir Starmer’s phrase "running out of road", but a wise man wouldn't put money on it. If you really think the rules don't apply to you, does the road ever really run out?

We have to take a share of the blame. Talented sportsmen are relentlessly given a free pass, no matter how foul their behaviour, because of the way people take a form of self-worth when their team does well or their chosen athlete wins.

Boris Johnson is in power because people voted for the Tories. No matter the sleaze and corruption from the royals, the UK maintains a uniquely deferential love/hate relationship with its first family.

The entitlement felt by these wealthy, powerful, privileged men could not have been summed up better than it was by Jacob Rees Mogg, his defence of the Prime Minister as remarkable a self-own as you could hope to find.

The call for Mr Johnson to resign made by his own Scottish Conservative leader could safely be disregarded, he said, as Douglas Ross was variously ‘a minor figure’ and ‘lightweight’.

And this is the crux of it. What lies behind the behaviour of His former Royal Highness, our borrowed-time Prime Minister and the racket-wielding Serb, is the same phenomenon.

For Rees Mogg and his set there are the people who matter, and there are the little people.

Douglas Ross may be dismayed to find himself on the wrong side of this line, but for entitled there are the important people, and the rest of us.

And they really don’t need to be concerned about us.