In a week in which National could have gone to town over the Government's new housing policy, it chose to focus on trying to get rid of Speaker Trevor Mallard over his handling of a defamation case.
It seemed like a strange decision.
Surely the public is more interested in house prices than in Mallard's legal settlement for wrongly calling a former parliamentary staffer a rapist.
Why would it risk looking out of touch and going after the things that don't matter so much?
There are several reasons.
National does not have an obvious strong prosecutor on the housing package on its front bench nor a clear line of attack.
Housing spokeswoman Nicola Willis is strong but she is responsible for the parts of the housing package that National does not oppose - the $3.8 billion infrastructure fund to turbo-charge supply.
Next is that National clearly does not see Mallard as the sole target. It sees Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as a dual target for her continued support of him – guilty by support.
It believes it is damaging both of them, little by little.
National also does not see it as beltway issue about a legal settlement, as Labour believes, but as an issue that people can easily relate to – a man getting a payout for being wrongly accused of rape.
Next, the most influential person in setting National's priorities in the House, besides leader Judith Collins, is Chris Bishop who is running the case against Mallard.
And Bishop had new material from the court on which to hang a fresh push this week: the statement of claim by the man who sued Mallard for defamation, as well as Mallard's statement of defence.
In a general debate speech, Bishop chose to use only the accused man's statement of claim to allege that the chief executive of Parliamentary Service - and the former employer of the man Mallard referred to - had informed Mallard he was wrong on the very day he made his comments about rape.
Having assumed that as a fact, Bishop then highlighted things that Mallard had said later that day and in the following months, which seemed inconsistent with it such as vowing to use "truth" as a defence in any court case.
Mallard's statement of defence actually denies that the chief executive told him he was wrong the day of his comments.
Mallard did tell a select committee last year he knew he had made a mistake "probably within 24 hours" although most of Bishop's attacks don't rest on the exact timing of when Mallard found out.
Mallard this week declined to clarify things after Bishop's attack, citing a confidentiality agreement – although he alluded to the fact that Parliamentary Service would not settle an employment dispute with the former staffer.
That appears to be a hint by Mallard that he does not see the case as quite the gross injustice that National is depicting it as.
Clarification will have to wait until after Easter when the House will debate the financial reviews of each agency, including Parliamentary Service.
Mallard will be participating in his capacity as the minister for Parliamentary Service. That, Mallard told the House, will be when "the truth will be told".
It needs to be a comprehensive rebuttal for the sake of his own reputation. But it could be a long wait for his Labour colleagues. Three colleagues this week, Ardern, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins and senior minister David Parker, have been forced to defend Mallard in media interviews.
In the meantime, Bishop and National leader Judith Collins will continue their corrosive campaign. Collins went as far as suggesting this week that Ardern might get rid of Mallard by rewarding him with a diplomatic post.
That would certainly be a perverse outcome for such an abrasive political figure. Mallard's talent would be far better suited to an international posting in sports administration if he were to step down in the current Parliament.
But Mallard presents potential problems for the Government both if he stays and if he goes, in the question of succession.
Deputy Speaker Adrian Rurawhe is not up to the big job but overlooking him in favour of, say, David Parker or David Clark could court resistance from the Māori caucus.
The one person who could do the job well and could avoid conflict within Labour would be senior National MP and former Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee.
It has been done before, when Jim Bolger gave the job to Labour MP Sir Peter Tapsell in 1993.
Any such considerations are well down the track. There would have to be some resolution to National's campaign against Mallard.
Labour would almost certainly not countenance any such offer if it were a result of him having been forced out.