Shopping lists and top tables

"It is becoming increasingly hard to justify" says the First Minister, why the police are the only major public service that are not devolved.

But having made his rational call/ill-thought out power grab - delete as applicable - it's became immediately clear that there will be no shortage of voices on his own side who'll tell him that he's the one with a great deal of justifying to do. The devolution of policing will not come quietly.

Why did he want to devolve the police service? So it could be developed along Welsh lines, said Mr Jones, so it could respond as a service to the needs of the people of Wales.

What would that devolved service look like? There he had little to add, not yet, though there were few in the room who hadn't spotted the glint in his eye when the future of Police and Crime Commissioners were mentioned. The glint said that Mr Jones doesn't believe they have, yet, managed to win the hearts and minds of the Welsh people.

Who must the Welsh government win over if they're to get their hands on the items on yesterday's shopping list? Policing was at the top but road safety, powers over speed and drink driving limits, ports, licensing of alcohol and light night entertainment were there too. And it didn't stop there. When he's convinced it's affordable and that the UK government would really pass on the cash to do the job properly and when we've built up the expertise needed to do the job properly, Mr Jones would like to see the courts and criminal justice system devolved too.

You will have heard what the parties have to say in public. Let me fill you in on what some have said in private.

Those in Mr Jones' own party won't want to feed the "Labour split" line. They're not daft. But privately one warned that it's ok to point to Scotland and what is devolved to the government in Holyrood but that when it comes to criminal justice, the weight of history can't be dismissed here: "you're talking about dismantling hundreds of years of history."

On the other hand Plaid Cymru, who yesterday accused the Welsh government of taking "very much a slow lane approach" were candid in the corridors today. "Carwyn has really pushed the boat out with this" said one AM ... presumably from a non-devolved port.

So why?

The First Minister has long warned of the impact of the Scottish independence referendum on Wales, whatever the result in 2014. Even if the people of Scotland decide to turn down the offer of independence, the constitutional ramifications will still be significant, with much more power and autonomy likely to accrue to Holyrood.

It's perhaps with one eye on this that Carwyn Jones has submitted his shopping list to Silk. What may seem ambitious now might, in the context of an even more divergent Scotland, look like basic common sense - with devolution, context, even if it isn't everything, means a lot.

The Welsh Government's submission makes pointed reference to their desire to see four administrations across the UK without a relationship of "hierarchy". That will seem a tall order to some, since - as things stand - one of the governments is responsible for raising and supplying the vast majority of the cash that the other three have to spend.

Carwyn Jones is deeply sceptical about any significant devolution of tax-raising powers to Wales in at least the medium term. But he also knows that the context is changing in front of his eyes.. The alternative, if Wales is going to keep up with its Caledonian cousins in terms of that four-way administration split, is to accumulate further powers for the Assembly in new fields, in order to maintain the credibility of his seat at the top table.