Some of the brightest minds in Britain spent yesterday poring over the results and impact of devolution, the biggest change to the British constitution since the partition of Ireland.
Many of their thoughts - some obvious, others controversial - were reported in yesterday's Western Mail, and provoked a debate about what exactly the project has achieved. What no one seems to have asked is what Wales would be like if Labour had changed its mind and not even held a referendum back in 1997?
The most common argument from the Labour side in favour of devolving power has been the impact on nationalism - the boil, they say, has been lanced, and Plaid's strong showing in the 1999 elections notwithstanding, the bare election statistics prove them right.
Without devolution, would support for Plaid have grown more dramatically? The party's rise was steady, rather than spectacular, before 1997, and the closeness of the referendum result that year probably points to the limited market for the 'resentment' vote.
Nevertheless, Plaid's message would have gained more salience, especially as the south-east of England's economy motored ahead as the 21st century dawned. They could probably expect to have a dozen MPs in Westminster by now - and they'd be joined by many more SNP MPs, the clamour for devolution always being stronger in Scotland.
One impact of devolution has been the 'Welshification' of the Labour and Conservative parties, with both organisations becoming policy creators rather than branches of a London-based operation.
And what of the individuals? Rhodri Morgan would still be the MP for Cardiff West, probably a critic of the 'choice' reforms being introduced across the UK by the Prime Minister. Ieuan Wyn Jones would be holding on to his Ynys Mn seat, just, and making the devolution case. It's difficult to see how the Tories could have mounted any comeback in Wales without the voice they got from the Assembly.
In policy terms, would the UK Government have stumped up the cash for the Wales Millennium Centre? Would the Blair agenda have driven down waiting lists more quickly? Would the M4 toll road already be built, the environmental questions that originally delayed it less of concern in Whitehall than in Cardiff? It's unlikely there would have been a bonfire of the quangos, and education standards have risen since the Assembly took over.
Above all, we have a greater degree of accountability. Leaking roof or not, you can stroll down to the Senedd and realistically get hold of your AM or even a Minister.
Last word to the foreign diplomat, asked a couple of years ago to report on what devolution had meant for Wales, who wrote, 'The people think the Assembly's a waste of space, but they feel it's their waste of space.'