The National:

BEWARE of Greeks bearing gifts. Beware of Tories proffering poisoned chalices disguised as gifts. In fact, for maximum security, just beware of Tories.

Not least those parroting the risible line that the Internal Market Bill will be some sort of political generator giving Scotland a lovely big power surge, when it is very specifically designed to hobble Holyrood and, indeed, all the devolved administrations.

Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to the Conservatives themselves when they drop the script, and the mask slips. First up, the Minister for Small Businesses Paul Scully, who appeared on the Scottish airwaves and told the presenter: “What I’m saying is money that’s currently spent by Brussels is coming back to the UK, to be distributed and spent alongside the Scottish Parliament, but by a Parliament in which Scottish MPs from across the political spectrum are represented.”

READ MORE: Tory minister concedes Internal Market Bill IS power grab on Scotland

In other words, by a Westminster Parliament which has fewer Scots MPs than those representing Greater London, and a tidy built-in majority of 80-plus for a party which last won the popular vote in Scotland when the Beatles were still in short trousers. The only power surge is in a Tory administration which treats even its own Chamber with contempt whilst clearly believing there’s little point in dealing with the devolved variety when they’re for the chop.

Then there’s Andrew Bowie, who let several interesting felines out the bag when talking to his constituents in Kincardine and West Aberdeenshire. The bill, he said, would let the Tories govern in every part of the UK. Including those parts which ditched half his party at the last General Election, leaving them five short of a football team.

The National: Scottish Tory MP Andrew Bowie was at least honest about the Tories' nefarious plan for HolyroodScottish Tory MP Andrew Bowie was at least honest about the Tories' nefarious plan for Holyrood

READ MORE: Scottish Tory MP boasts Internal Market Bill is 'rebalancing devolution'

We are “re-balancing devolution” he told them. “Allowing the UK Government to legislate for and spend – govern in fact, in all corners of our United Kingdom.” Out of the mouths of babes and underlings!

But wee Daddy (damn spellcheck!) also had his say this week. Michael Gove, the man now famous for converting the people’s republic of Kent into a rather large lorry park, made a guest appearance before the Scottish Parliament’s constitution committee. Suitably distant of course. Hundreds of miles distant. And a milion miles from providing any truths not liberally coated in ministerial varnish.

If there were a prize on offer for the brass quotient in Cabinet necks, few of his colleagues need bother to compete. This is the man who, when responsible for agriculture in England, assured the farming community that they mustn’t worry their little heads about unfair competition or importing dodgy welfare standards. And then refused to put that assurance into legislation. Trust me, I’m Michael, is not going to have them queuing to vote Tory in these parts.

WATCH: Mhairi Black cut off during barnstorming speech on Internal Market Bill

He told the Holyrood committee the idea the UK Government would compromise welfare standards “is for the birds”. Aye, the chlorine-washed ones. As for the NHS being privatised: “A lurid fantasy – one of the most absurd ludicrous and irrational fantasies” he’d ever heard. An odd admission from a chap whose party has spent the last 10 years outsourcing bits of England’s health provision. And has just fired their public health authority in mid pandemic.

Curiously, the rest of us are not unfamiliar with “lurid fantasies”. It was apparently one of those to think that anyone as mendacious as Johnson could ever make it to Number 10. That’s right, the very man Gove once described as unfit for the office. It was a lurid fantasy that saying No to independence might threaten membership of the EU. Talking of which it was “a million to one chance” that we would exit Europe without a deal. (Copyright the PM.)

Mhairi Black made a powerful speech in Westminster this week which she ended by noting that it had taken us 300 years to get our parliament back and just 20 for Gove and Co to try to bulldoze it. There will be a lot of bodies lying in front of that bulldozer, Mr Gove. Rely on it. It’s not a fantasy.