Welsh NHS with a Scottish twist

Well there you go.

Wales has hardly got a mention in the Scottish independence referendum and then during the most critical debate so far, the final head to head between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond, the state of spending in the Welsh NHS came up a number of times.

"We cannot be forced to privatise the NHS because we have operational control of it but we do not have financial control of it and that is a serious problem," Alex Salmond said.

"There are people watching in Wales tonight where the NHS spending has reduced in real terms because of the financial pressures of the budget from London."

The nationalist message he had for Scottish voters was that devolution only goes so far and the only way to get full protection from decisions made by Conservatives in London was to have independence.

Now Carwyn Jones may have some sympathy with the argument that the Welsh government's overall budget is vulnerable to decisions made in Westminster, particularly in relation to health because it makes up such a high proportion.


But there's a fat chance of him coming to any agreement with the SNP over the next few weeks.

In fact this week Carwyn Jones reaffirmed his opposition to a currency union in the event of a yes vote in an article for the Daily Record.

This has been his message for a number of months and he's trying to keep up his opposition as 18 September edges closer.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood came back from her summer break to immediately brand the first minister "silly" for his continuing intervention in Scotland.

Silly, she says, on two levels. One because he does not have the power of veto on a currency union and secondly because she claims all he manages to do is wind up the Scots unnecessarily.

The first minister has been strong in his attacks on the yes camp.

He could have come up with more of a "stay within the family" message to Scottish voters but instead he is struck more of an aggressive tone saying that Scots should not expect to share in the good things of the union if they decide to leave the union.

That said, having witnessed a debate between Salmond and Darling which someone neatly summed up as "shouty", Carwyn Jones' comments seem pretty tame by comparison.

All said and done, what Wales thinks was always going to be something of a side-show in the campaign, which is why it was so surprising to hear Welsh health spending be mentioned so prominently in the debate.