Democratic mandates given to manifesto pledges are directly recognised by the chaotic British "constitution". Under the Salisbury Convention, a political party that has won a majority of seats in a general election is entitled to have its manifesto pledges passed by the House of Lords - and upon such "understandings" rests Britain's entire claim to be a democracy.
Last month, the SNP won an overwhelming majority of Scottish seats on an unambiguous pledge to introduce Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland after a transitional period. They subsequently introduced an amendment to the Scotland Bill to honour that pledge. The principle established by Salisbury is clear enough - if Scotland is truly a democracy, the Tory government should recognise the mandate for the SNP's manifesto, and allow the amendment to pass, regardless of whether or not they agree with it.
So is that what's happening? Oh, don't be silly - Scotland isn't a democracy. The Tories get to veto the people's verdict, and are doing so with characteristic abandon.
Now, don't get me wrong - the unionist parties are perfectly entitled to their view that Full Fiscal Autonomy would be a "disaster" and a "shambles". But the thing is, they put that argument to the Scottish people, and it was (to use the BBC's favourite word from September) "decisively" rejected. None of us are going to adopt Cameronite despotism by arguing that the result of the 2015 general election binds us all for "a lifetime", but it should certainly stand until another election produces a different result.
Imagine if the Scottish Government had reacted to the referendum result by saying : "Well, that's interesting, but we're just going to ignore it, and use our parliamentary majority to declare independence anyway. If we did anything else, it would be a disaster for the people of Scotland."
The Tories are doing to the exact equivalent of that. To hell with the respect agenda, this is the contempt agenda - and it's also why a second independence referendum is probably inevitable sooner or later. David Cameron should really have heeded the fair warning Nicola Sturgeon gave him when he came to Edinburgh. On his own head be it.