The theme of concentrating Plaid Cymru's fire will continue into the second day the party's conference in Beaumaris as its leaders portray themselves as ready to take over from Labour as the Welsh Government, rather than seeking to get back into coalition with their former partners.
Yesterday Plaid's leader, Leanne Wood, spent much of her speech attacking Labour's record on education. Today the party's leader at Westminster, Elfyn Llwyd, will accuse Labour of squandering the opportunity of the powers gained by the Assembly in the 2011 referendum.
The referendum signalled a change. But change has been frustratingly slow in coming under a tired and uninspired Labour government in Cardiff Bay.Time after time, Labour fail in their duty to the people of Wales by being too tied to their Westminster leaders. Labour MPs’ criminal decision to vote for a reduction in the EU budget which would cut structural funds and the CAP, as well as the betrayal by the majority of their members of the most vulnerable in abstaining on the welfare reform bill –serve to demonstrate whose priorities come first for the Labour party in Wales.
It is not Carwyn Jones to whom they are answerable, but Mr Miliband and the tired New Labour clique who seem to control him.
The Silk Inquiry will provide a fantastic opportunity to promote Welsh interests. The difference between Plaid and the other parties came out most starkly in their diverging contributions to this inquiry. For here again we saw the same pattern of Plaid on the front foot and the unionists lagging behind. We should probably send our submission to Labour HQ as well, just so that they can announce it as their party policy 10 years later.
Mr Llwyd will remind delegates that Plaid has asked the Silk Commission for devolution of the justice system to Wales, including powers over police, probation, youth justice and prisons. It also wants devolution of other powers including natural resources and energy; transport and broadcasting.
We view this as an opportunity for Wales to be more democratically accountable and in the driving seat of its own destiny. The road that leads from Silk will propel us into the next stage of our nation’s history. But Silk has tied Labour in knots – admittedly not hard to do. In the last few weeks, the Welsh Government has announced that it – finally – recognises the expediency of devolving justice powers to Wales. But as soon as Carwyn Jones announced this, he set obstacles to trip us up. Like a closing-time drunk, every time Labour take a step forward, they lurch back two paces.