SO we’ve reached the Henry V stage of Brexit . In Act IV Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s history play, as Jack Cade’s rebels march into London, Dick the Butcher utters an immortal line which has resonated down the centuries. “The first thing we do,” he said, “let’s kill all the lawyers.”

This week, Dick the Butcher has been reincarnated as thick-cut, Union jack-branded Tory gammon. Confronted by the surprise conclusion from the Court of Session on Wednesday that the Prime Minister prorogued parliament unlawfully, behind the scenes and in front of the cameras, Brexit’s roundheads started burbling excuses and bandying about accusations of bias. This reaction was sinewed with the strain of paranoid thinking which now characterises the rhetoric of Boris Johnson’s Brexit-minded surrogates.

Low-altitude flyer Andrew Bridgen MP claimed “there will be a suspicion that political pressure may have been placed” on the three senior Scottish judges who ruled against the Prime Minister. Senor Patata didn’t specify who might have applied this pressure, but it is safe to assume that the empty barn of his brain cavity is haunted by the laughing shadows of Scottish nationalists and scheming Remainers, determined to frustrate the sovereign will of the British people.

In a crowded field, Kwasi Kwarteng’s contribution wins the Mealiest Mouth of the Week award. Speaking to Andrew Neil, the Tory cabinet minister stressed he wasn’t accusing Lord Carloway and his two colleagues of any bias, but that “many people are saying that the judges are biased”. According to Kwarteng, this is because “the judges are getting involved in politics” –though he, naturally, isn’t suggesting that. He’s just “saying what people are saying”. Because this is the job description of the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth. The humble scribe of the golf club bore and barrack room lawyer, he’s obliged to repeat on national television allegations of impropriety he personally rejects, because that’s what responsible cabinet ministers do.

We have been here before. Back in November 2016, the Daily Mail branded three judges of the English High Court “enemies of the people” after the court concluded the UK Parliament must be involved in kick-starting Brexit. And how, pray, did the rag’s witch smellers detect the people’s enemies? “One founded a European law group,” the paper thundered. “Another charged the taxpayer millions for advice,” it raged. Well, that’s lawyers for you. And the third? The indictment against the third judge was in a class of its own. He was – shock horror – “an openly gay ex-Olympic fencer”.

Quite how being a fabulous Zorro structured Sir Terence Etherton’s understanding of constitutional law, I never could quite fathom. We can only assume the Mail prefers its swordsmen closeted. But you don’t need 20-20 vision to read between these lines. The stolid English yeoman has a heart of oak, no questions about his sexuality and prefers to set about his enemies with a stout length of wood – not some effete jessie stoating about with an epee. I bet this guy even takes mayonnaise with his frites. He’s basically Belgian. QED. An enemy of the people.

The Mail’s efforts to monster Lords Brodie, Carloway and Drummond Young this week looked half-hearted by comparison. They dug up next to nothing about Drummond Young. Continuing the paper’s inexplicable fixation with all things sabre-related, they revealed Lord Brodie “is reportedly a keen fencer”. But the kicker? This “minister’s son” has a “passion for France”, expressing itself through his presidency of the Franco-Scottish Society, which is “dedicated to upholding the Auld Alliance”. “Against England,” one raging Brexiteer added, convinced of Lord Brodie’s mala fides.

And why not? It must have been all that boeuf bourguignon which convinced the judge that the UK Government’s lies and evasions about why it was proroguing Parliament was an “egregious case” of a “clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities”. It wasn’t the paper trail of contradictory documents. It wasn’t the “clandestine” way Boris Johnson went about organising the prorogation. It wasn’t the UK Government’s reluctance to put any good reason for prorogation before the court.

No: the only explanation is he’s Macron’s catspaw, taking the opportunity to take revenge for Flodden. Not that I’m saying that, of course. I’m just saying that people are saying that. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but there’s an outside possibility Lord Brodie may also speak a bit of French too. A feature – I merely note – he has in common with many a Brussels bureaucrat.

And the black marks against Lord Carloway? The tabloid revealed the Lord President of the Court of Session is a “jazz lover”. Well, so was Jacques Chirac. And worse, Carloway “reportedly plays bass guitar in a band called The Reclaimers”, and once said that realising Brexit would be “a task of mammoth proportions”.

I think we can all agree – three years, two months and 22 days since the referendum result, two years, five months and 17 days since Theresa May sent Britain’s Article 50 letter to Brussels, with no viable deal to leave the EU in hand and no consensus about how to do so – that Lord Carloway’s description of Brexit as a “mammoth task” has been exposed as an unfounded and obviously biased remark. Brexit has been plain sailing. What right-thinking Briton could conclude otherwise?

These indictments fall at the dafter end of the spectrum, but the eruptions from the centre of government and the ruling party are more serious. As soon as Lord Carloway announced the court’s conclusions, shadowy propagandists in Downing Street began to imply that the coalition of more than 70 parliamentarians bringing this judicial review petition cynically selected Scotland for their venue because its judges would be more inclined to give them a favourable hearing.

Don’t get me wrong. Such factors can play into jurisdiction choice for strategic litigants – but if you know anything about the Edinburgh bench and Edinburgh judges, you’ll know that Parliament House is no hotbed of constitutional radicalism. Nor did the three judges of the Inner House reach their decision on particularly radical terms.

On Tuesday morning, 11 judges of the UK Supreme Court will sit in what will be the final hearing for this case. Despite what you may have read, there wasn’t much that was particularly Scottish about the Court of Session’s decision that Johnson’s prorogation was unlawful – save, perhaps, for Lord Carloway’s use of the word “stymie” to describe the Prime Minister’s purposes in dismissing MPs for five weeks.

Although Aidan O’Neill QC gave it great guns before the court about the significance of the 1689 Claim of Right, even the Lord President – who found in O’Neill’s favour – thought this aspect of the action was essentially “romantic”. The other judges agreed, dismissing this strand of the argument against the lawfulness of this prorogation, even as they upheld their main submission.

This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it gives the lie to the convenient Brexiteer line that this decision was somehow unfairly pried from the courts in Scotland, either by “political pressure”, as one Tory numbskull MP put it, or some kind of arcane alternative Scottish approach to the constitution, or attributable to underlying judicial prejudices in Parliament House.

Second, it squashes the story doing the rounds that this decision was reached as a result of some eccentric feature of Scots law which the Supreme Court can be expected to have no truck with. True, the Inner House reached a different decision to the High Court in England and Wales. So did Lord Doherty at first instance.

You don’t need to believe Lord Brodie’s favourite film is Braveheart, or that Lord Drummond Young has saltires stitched on his underpants, to explain why the courts might have reached different conclusions. As Lord Hope has pointed out this week, this case comes down to basic principles of UK public law, long recognised on both sides of the Border, in the laws of Scotland and of England and Wales. Can courts review ministerial advice on the prerogative to prorogue parliament? If prorogation is advised for improper and unconstitutional reasons, can and will the courts step in to hold the executive to account?

Court decisions are not – and should not – be immune from legitimate political critiques. The gammon indictment looks nothing like this, amounting to vague innuendo and unevidenced claims of bias, seasoned with just a dash of Scotophobia, simply because you wish the court had come to a different conclusion. It’s a cheap and lazy ad hominem by cheap and lazy people.