In hindsight, it was not the smartest thing John Banks has ever said.
Week in politics
Here is a blunt message for a couple of old-school Aro Valley-style socialists: Get off our backs. Stop behaving like a pair of tut-tutting old dowagers gossiping in the salons.
Whether you think the water claim to the Waitangi Tribunal by the New Zealand Maori Council is an audacious try-on or a legitimate test of legitimate rights, it is an issue that will make or break the reputations of many.
The Road to Economic Salvation is not so much paved with good intentions as littered with countless, soon-forgotten "vision" documents and their worthy, but illusory promises of halcyon days ahead.
The fact the Waitangi Tribunal's recommendations may be "ignored", as Prime Minister John Key bluntly reminded us this week, is indirectly one of the reasons it is held in such high regard by Maori.
The last time anybody looked up the National Party's official guiding principles, pragmatism was not listed as being one of them.
If Labour thinks National's new five-year targets for improvements in some of New Zealand's ugliest and most depressing statistics are little more than a political gimmick, then Labour should think again.
So much for the theory that Winston Peters was mellowing into Parliament's version of everyone's favourite, if somewhat cranky and irascible, uncle.
Still reeling from their public caning over the now-axed rejigging of class sizes and teacher numbers, National Party ministers got a blunt talking-to from the Prime Minister at last Monday's Cabinet meeting.
If Hekia Parata is to remain in the education portfolio for any length of time, she needs to stop spouting meaningless blather.
In the Prime Minister's not-so-good books on Monday; possum in the media's headlights on Tuesday; political road-kill by Thursday.
The ultra-orthodox Budget was sold on Thursday by Bill English as the last word in fiscal rectitude, but it lacked for one rather necessary ingredient.
Thanks largely to some adroit politics on its part, National has yet to cop any substantial public backlash to its various austerity measures.
If National is as hell-bent on radical welfare reform as its critics insist it is, then it would surely overhaul the flawed child support scheme with the same gusto that this week saw it offer free long-acting, reversible contraception to mothers on benefits and their teenage daughters.
Make no mistake. Prime Minister John Key will dump the Hon John Archibald Banks QSO CNZM from his ministry if circumstances so dictate.
With work now starting on the blueprint for the first batch of "charter" schools, the scene would seem to have been set for a real ding-dong battle as opponents try to mobilise the only weapon they have to halt or at least delay the concept becoming reality - public opinion.
The word "reform" drips readily off the tongues of politicians. As long as, that is, the said reform applies to others and not themselves. It is a very different matter when political parties' self-interest is at stake.
The word "reform" drips readily off the tongues of politicians.
Labour will claim both moral and tactical victories over National after this week's skirmishing over paid parental leave, and with some justification.
If next month's Budget likely features even more belt-tightening than earlier expected, there is one taxpayer-funded agency whose funding could surely go under the knife.