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Three, two, one ...

Betsan Powys | 11:25 UK time, Monday, 28 June 2010

_39170481_cake-bbc203.jpgCount down with me ... Three, two, one day to go until the One Wales Agreement is three years old. At least it's in three days' time that Labour and Plaid Cymru plan to mark officially their three year collaboration. The deal was, in fact, struck on June 27th and ratified by party members during the following week - but there we go, Thursday July 1st it officially is.

Let me try again.

Count down with me ... Three, two, one day to go until the One Wales Agreement has less than a year to run. At least it's in three days' time that Labour and Plaid Cymru plan to stare down the final furlong officially and set their course for the months to come ...

Forget birthday cakes and glasses of bubbly anything. They're not stupid. We're talking key note speeches here, more thinking caps than party hats. But more significantly we must also, surely, be talking about what's to come between now and the Assembly election next year, not where we've been.

In other words if marking years one and two was all about press officers and Ministers spelling out what the new coalition government had thus far introduced - how many competence orders had been negotiated through Westminster, what the powers transferred had been used to create, how well two old political enemies were collaborating - marking the end of year three must surely have more to do with where Labour and Plaid want us to be by the time their deal runs out, where they want to be as two parties. Ticking boxes and nodding to checklists will matter of course but not as much as laying the ground for what is to come.

So what will we get?

Well judged, politically astute - or way, way too much finger wagging at the newer coalition in Westminster?

Namechecking REact and PROact - or suggesting a blueprint for reshaping the economy so many experts have, over the years, picked over while wringing their hands?

Condemnation of cuts/Explanation of when and where cuts will be made?

Coalition partners playing it straight til the last - or partners starting to play hardball and stray onto each other's ministerial territory?

Condemnation of the Secretary of State's draft referendum question ("a bugger's muddle" as one horrified, senior figure put it to me at the weekend) - or the start of a campaign, as per One Wales, to win the vote?

I'm not sure that last example is absolutely, mutually exclusive but you get the idea.

So: three, two, one ...


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