This week's Community Column is written by Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O'Hara.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We all knew that the Scottish Tories couldn’t keep the act going forever and at some point the mask would inevitably slip.

Well, last week it did slip and revealed that beneath the soft exterior, so assiduously created by Ruth Davidson, the true face of the Conservative Party is just as ugly and as unpleasant as ever.

First, the Scottish Tories’ social security spokesperson, Michelle Ballantyne, suggested that privatising our National Health Service, by removing the democratically elected and accountable government from the running of it, would be a good thing, leaving it to the mercy of market forces and the profit-driven private health providers.

This was an astonishing intervention from Ms Ballantyne but it would seem that’s what the Tories plan for the Scottish NHS if they ever get their hands on it.

Equally astonishing was the intervention from Maurice Corry MSP in the Advertiser, when he defended the roll-out of Universal Credit, even going so far as to describe it as “superb”.

READ MORE: Universal Credit has been 'change for the better', says Conservative MSP

As someone who has to deal with the fall-out from Universal Credit every day, I have to tell Maurice Corry that it is not “superb”. Only those who have no knowledge or experience of Universal Credit, or who are wilfully blind to its effects, could describe it as such.

The roll-out of Universal Credit has been nothing short of catastrophic for many people living in our community.

Did Maurice not see the Advertiser a couple of weeks back when it reported on the young Helensburgh family who appeared at my office, penniless and hungry, unable even to afford baby milk, purely as a result of Universal Credit?

READ MORE: MSP's Universal Credit comments slammed by rivals

For him to claim Universal Credit as a positive thing is to deny what we all know to be true – that it has been a complete disaster, pushing those most in need further into poverty.

What we have found out in the last seven days – from their praising of the disastrous rollout of Universal Credit, to suggesting that our precious National Health Service should be privatised – is that the Tories’ mask has slipped and the “Nasty Party” is back...with a vengeance.