Plaid Cymru supporters must have been chewing hard on their Weetabix this morning. As they tucked into their first bale they would have enjoyed watching the Nationalist First Minister of Scotland crowing about winning a by-election by securing a swing of 23%. There is no doubt that a lot of this is due to the personality of Alex Salmond, and the way he has used his position of First Minister. As the second Weetabix went down, they will have started thinking that this might have been us. And it might have. But Ieuan Wyn Jones wobbled, and chickened out, and decided that he would rather be Rhodri Morgan's Deputy, rather than First Minister himself. I always thought it was an utterly unwise decision. I suspect a few Plaid supporters were feeling the same as in anger, they took a third bale of Weetabix.
Plaid Cymru got absolutely nothing out their deal with Labour, when they decided to prop up Rhordi Morgan in office 14 months ago. They made a big song and dance about 'getting into' Government for the first time ever, and Ieuan becoming Deputy First Minister. The word 'Deputy' has value only as 'in the unfortunate event' way. The truth is that no-one ever remembers the 'deputy'. And Plaid would probably have had three Ministers and the First Minister if Ieuan had gone for the 'Rainbow Coalition' with the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
Some Plaid supporters claim that the Plaid/Labour Coalition was the only way to get a referendum on law making powers for the National Assembly. Well, its become clear that they are not going to have a referendum in the current Assembly anyway - so no gain there. And as far as I can see, there is a good majority of Conservative and Liberal Democrat AMs who would agree to a referendum if Plaid pushed it - which they won't. And the 60% threshold would have been guaranteed because there are a good few Labour AMs who would have voted with the 'Rainbow' on this.
And who knows what else Plaid might have squeezed out of the deal. Many Conservatives felt as I did, that we had to do our damnest to get into Government ourselves, to promote our policies, and to enable Assembly politics to grow up by not always having a Labour dominated Government.
As Plaid ponder the fallout from the sacking of their most charismatic Minister, they can move on to reflect on Glasgow East and the biggest missed opportunity of their Party's existence. Three weetabix will not be enough