Winston Peters is a master of one thing: he has a way of coining succinct and cutting phrases that hit political nails on the head.
As he again demonstrated this week in labelling Simon Bridges "shallow and graceless" for his whining response to the coalition Government's Covid-19 help package.
Frankly, that sums up National's leader in toto. Which is doubtless why he struggles to rate better than 9 per cent in the "preferred prime minister" stakes – a figure that's probably sliding as I write.
But will Bridges' shallow and graceless personality make any difference come the election? It should; because his leadership speaks volumes about the lack of quality National contains.
• Premium - Bruce Bisset: Election leaves little to be excited about
• Bruce Bisset: Way down south in Otane
• Premium - Bruce Bisset: The world is burning now - imagine what the future holds
• Bruce Bisset: Growing better growth
John Key may have been shallow – he was only a financial trader, after all – but at least he had charm, using it to take the art of not answering questions to a new level.
However as Bridges' mentor he clearly failed to imbue his charge with similar skill. As the old adage has it, better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Certainly it was shallow for Bridges to immediately play politics by saying he would have given "more" – without a figure – to the health sector and to larger businesses to respond to coronavirus and its effects; to do so without acknowledging the unprecedented size and speed of the Government's commitment was graceless.
And to imply low-wage workers and beneficiaries were undeserving of protection was not only heartless but demonstrates Bridges' minimal grasp of economics, since it is wages which promote spending which drives the economy.
Besides, in the greater scheme of things, isn't it nice to have a break from greed-oriented mega-corporate growth? This pandemic provides a chance to pause and see what a non-growth scenario might actually look like.
One obvious beneficial effect is on the environment. Blue skies over China's cities and Venice's canals clear enough to see fish in, on the back of a huge drop in commuter transport and the curtailing of invasive tourism.
Add in that working from home – long-promised as the future of desk-based employment – is currently the new reality for a significant slice of the workforce, and there's a huge upside to this disease vector.
Maybe, just maybe, when the panic is over and things settle down again they'll do so in ways that take some of the examples the global reaction is throwing up and make a better world from them.
Unfortunately it also hasn't stopped the worst opportunists from looking for advantage; Russia and the Saudis are playing oil cartel games, dropping prices to create a massive glut primarily in order, so the analysts say, to weaken the US economy.
So much for allies, eh, America?
That they're doing so with a commodity which is the bane of anyone hoping to survive the impending "climatocalypse" makes simple Simon's neoliberal wailings pale in comparison.
Covid-19 is dragging the world into recession and New Zealand, reliant on commodity exports and tourism, will be badly affected.
But Jacinda Ardern's government has delivered a momentous and comprehensive package that should enable the country to weather the pandemic as best as we could hope for.
Without playing politics over it.
Perhaps, if grace and sanity prevail, politics will return the favour and grant the Coalition a second term.
Then, who knows? They might become as responsive to the real culprit – climate change.
Winston may have to go to achieve that, but his ability to cut the likes of Bridges down to size will be missed.
• Bruce Bisset is a freelance writer and poet. Views expressed are the writer's opinion and not the newspaper's.