Michael Gove is about to unleash some serious bad asses on Scotland – practitioners of the darkest of political arts

I SAY, chaps, here’s a great wheeze. Why don’t we take two of the most reviled politicians in Scotland and make one of them Minister for The Union, and have the other one set up an anti-independence propaganda unit? Then sit back and watch these appalling Yes types crumble in the face of the resulting onslaught. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, just about everything. Boris Johnson, self-appointed Minister for the Union, can only scurry over the Border with a praetorian guard, and hold “meetings” somewhere he can be sure there aren’t any actual voters skulking in the heather. Not to diss the work being done by Yes troopers, but in fairness the PM as Union protector puts chocolate fireguards to shame.

Little Mr Gove, a sleekit wee house Jock if ever you saw one, bears rather more scrutiny. He’s just as good as Boris in the porkie department, but rather more subtle with it. The lorry park monitor, not content with presiding over the Brexit bourach, has decided not just to try and stem the independence tide, but to dismantle devolution as a starter pack.

READ MORE: Michael Gove seeking Unionist 'attack dogs' for crisis-ridden anti-independence unit

Hence the Internal Market Bill, designed to repatriate devolved powers not to Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh, but to his own Westminster fiefdom. All the better to impose English laws on Scottish people. And an integral part of the mission to do a trade deal with anyone, anywhere regardless of their being careless about human or animal rights.

Hence having the brass neck last week to complain about the non co-operation of devolved secretaries of state having spent the last four years freezing them out of negotiations. As my dear departed granny was won to observe, “he’s worth the watching that one”.

His other piece of naked plotting hasn’t gone entirely to plan. Five long months ago, he determined to set up a unit to counter the push for independence. Went so far as to have folk interviewed and jobs proffered, it’s rumoured. Happily there are still some folks in the civil service senior enough to know the rules, and not yet defenestrated by Dominic Cummings, the man who makes Machiavelli look like a ham fisted amateur.

Michael Gove is about to unleash some serious bad asses on Scotland – practitioners of the darkest of political arts

These surviving mandarins reportedly reminded the man who would be king if Johnson stumbles off the park, that any such use of civil service personnel would be entirely contrary to the rules governing their non-politicisation. In truth, these rules have less force these days now that the Tories have spadmeisters running so much of the shop. But let us be grateful for small-scale mercies.

READ MORE: Michael Russell rubbishes Michael Gove's 'nonsense' claims about Scots ministers

On then, if you’ll forgive the term, to plan B. Going out into the marketplace instead to staff the unit. Folk with a decent track record as attack dogs. The sort that are unlikely to let facts intrude on a good going smear.

I wonder if they’ll be housed in that wondrous central Edinburgh vanity project – the new hub into which some 3000 departmental bods are due to be decanted to show how, in the immortal words of Tory MP Andrew Bowie: “This Internal Market Bill, is just the start. The UK Govt is back in Scotland. Get used to it.”

Do you know, I wasn’t told they’d left, otherwise I’d have dusted down the bunting. Maybe it’s just that they hadn’t be over visible, what with having just 6 MPs – provided one of them isn’t needed to run the line at the footy.

Anyway, chums, this is where we are. Mr Gove (and probably Mr Cummings, his erstwhile fixer at English Education) are about to unleash some serious bad asses on us all. Practitioners of the darkest of political arts. I imagine they’ll be given the very warmest of welcomes. Count on it.