Encouraged by the substantial response to my previous Tory posting and intrigued by sundry comments in the papers today, herewith a few more thoughts anent the offer of "respect" from David Cameron to Alex Salmond.
Connections everywhere. In particular, I seem to recall the news conference which Donald Dewar held in Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of Labour's General Election defeat in 1992.
It is my recollection that Mr Dewar suggested then, albeit en passant, that the victorious Tories under John Major had "no mandate" to govern Scotland, given the relative paucity of their representation in Scotland.
(The Tories then had 11 MPs north of the border, a level they would now regard as a triumph.)
It occurred to me then and occurs to me now that the mandate argument cannot be deployed, credibly and consistently, by a party which adheres to the Union.
If you support the United Kingdom, then you accept the outcome which emerges from a UK election.
You accept that the writ of the elected UK Government extends across the whole of the territory, within the rules upon which the election was fought.
Admittedly, Mr Dewar was speaking in different, pre-devolution circumstances. It was an instinctive response to defeat. However, that did not make it logically correct.
In practice, Labour did not pursue that particular argument, preferring to focus upon gaining a UK victory in order to implement Scottish political reform.
In essence, David Cameron is revisiting that issue - but with a difference. He is anticipating that he gains UK power in 2010 - before the next Holyrood elections.
That would mean that he enters Downing Street while Alex Salmond remains first minister.
Mr Cameron is tendering "respect" to the devolved mandate presently held by the SNP. In return, he is asking Mr Salmond to respect the UK reserved mandate which is held by the prime minister.
Sounds fair, on the face of it. The SNP has been prepared, strategically, to work within the current set-up. Mr Cameron is asking for that tolerance to be extended to him.
But think on a little. By legal definition, the Scottish devolved government has no remit across the UK, across England. By convention, the UK Government agrees to restrict its remit in Scotland to reserved matters - while, legally, retaining full power.
In practice, Mr Cameron is envisaging a situation where he seeks to govern the UK without a majority of MPs from one of the constituent nations of the UK, Scotland.
He is offering, in effect, to respect the convention which lies at the heart of the devolved settlement. To take no steps at Westminster, including on finance, which might countermand that devolved mandate.
It is a substantive offer.
In return, however, he is asking Alex Salmond to raise no objections to the Conservatives, with a Scottish minority, exercising reserved power in Scotland.
Again, that is an intriguing, thought-provoking offer, given that, under the post-devolution rules, the UK remit runs in Scotland, whatever the First Minister of the day says.
However, unlike Donald Dewar in 1992, Alex Salmond does not believe that the UK should have any remit in Scotland. That may, I feel, influence Mr Salmond's response, should the matter arise.
At the very least, he might well be tempted to raise more of a fuss about Conservative rule in Scotland, if only to advance his own cause.