Its amazing to think how much we've evolved as a party over the past twelve months. We've had to adapt and learn quickly how to be part of a Government. It was very easy in the past for Plaid to be able to promise our supporters everything and anything. Indeed, we didn't even have to have a policy on some issues when we only had an England based parliament governing us. Now, we have Ministers! We even have a Deputy Prime Minister of Wales! Its just mind blowing. Hopefully it won't be too long until we have a Prime Minister and a majority government. Just think what we'll be able to achieve then!
Whilst its been a steep learning curve for our elected members, its also been tough on our supporters. Yes, we've gained new ones but some of our traditional members have been disappointed by a few decisions taken. That, however, is the reality of being in Government. Ministers have to take tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. Indeed, we should be proud that our Ministers have shown the courage to be able to do that! Our members therefore have to mature with the party and accept that this is the case. Plaid won't ever become a party for the whole of Wales by pleasing everybody - it just can't be done. And Plaid may well sometimes make one or two mistakes along the way - every party does that. But, we are listening and we are delivering. Those of us who doubted how wise it was to go into coalition with Labour, myself included, have been forced to admit that we were wrong. Plaid is definitely having a positive influence on the Welsh Assembly. No wonder the party is gaining support, whilst Labour rapidly falls apart...
Don Touhig's comments were certainly an interesting read this morning. Plaid has had a lot of influence on key decisions over the past year. Indeed, Plaid really is leading the way and winning the vast majority of battles during Ministerial meetings as is obvious from what has been achieved. Finally, people are realising that and giving Plaid credit for being a strong coalition partner.
Some people still love to talk about Plaid in derogative ways. They need to grow up and realise that Plaid has matured as a party in response to the political changes in Wales. We are the only party who have the interests of Wales at our very core.
I'm glad that we're celebrating this occasion. Its a huge achievement, and I'm proud to have been a Plaid Cymru member during this transition period. Onwards and upwards as they say!