Wily old Winston Peters proved once again last week he was adept at scratching a political itch, when he called on Muslim communities to "clean house" and turn in terrorists in the wake of the London attacks.
Political lightweights, and subservient National dependants, David Seymour and Peter Dunne were quick to condemn his comments as naked political opportunism and bigotry but feedback from the great unwashed suggests he verbalised what many were thinking.
Whether you love or loathe Peters, you have to admire his talent for political timing and eye for the main chance.
His other talents include that of being a proof reader, which I guess is a natural for a man who has spent the best part of the past 40 years correcting members of the press.
That talent, he told me last week, was put to good use proofing the writing of the man who spends his days writing most of Winston's press releases. And that's because his Chief of Staff David Broome also moonlights as a war historian.
Broome, a regular panelist on my radio show and a Wellington-based member of the Western Front Association, wrote an excellent piece on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Messines which took place in northern Belgium.
One of the great quotes of the Great War came from Major-General Tim Harington's press briefing on the eve of the battle when he said, "Gentlemen, I don't know whether we are going to make history tomorrow, but at any rate we shall change geography".
And change the landscape they did when at 3.10am on June 7, 1917, underneath Messines Ridge 454,000 kilograms of explosives, placed into 19 huge landmines, created one of largest non-nuclear explosions in history.
Legend has it the window panes of Buckingham Palace rattled as the sound waves crossed the English Channel. Ten thousand Germans died instantly. The crater alone left at Hill 60 measured 80 metres wides and was five storeys deep. By the end of the battle seven days later, 700 New Zealanders had also paid the ultimate price of war.
The landmines were placed under the German lines by one of the greatest tunnelling efforts in history. What ensued was as Broome described it "a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Germans countermining in the sodden Flemish ground".
Incidentally not all of these huge bombs were detonated. One exploded in 1955 and one 22,600 monster still lies dormant underneath a Belgium field. I'm not sure I'd volunteer to plough that paddock!
While on my favoured subject of history, a clean up around the sale of our old family farm has unearthed some gems. I scored two collector's items to add to an already overcrowded collector's bookcase.
The first was 'Farming and Subsidies - Debunking the Myths' written by the former President of Federated Farmers (1987-90) Brian Chamberlain. Published in 1996, the man who led New Zealand farming through its darkest Rogernomics days, wrote the book to show that it was possible to dismantle an agricultural subsidy system without causing all the disasters that subsidy supporters predicted.
Of course Chamberlain was right on the money and his book is a fascinating look at how New Zealand agriculture was able to reinvent itself and thrive post the removal of subsidies. Thirty years on from Rogernomics farmers now salute, rather than spit on, Roger Douglas.
The other is a magazine, the New Zealand Weekly News, published on Christmas Day 1967. On the cover is a wonderful caricature of the great BJ Lochore, the then captain of the victorious 1967 All Blacks who cut an unbeaten swath through the UK and France. Only a Foot and Mouth outbreak in Ireland prevented a first grand slam, that honour going to Graham Mourie's 1978 side.
Other features in the mag included a story on the said F&M outbreak in Britain, an article on fast bowler Dick Motz (written by the great Richie Benaud) and a column by pop music guru Pete Sinclair on a hot new Wellington band, The Avengers.
Most entertaining was looking at the advertisements featuring some weird and wonderful products (1000 saccharin tablets for weight watchers for 79 cents) being promoted in the new currency of the day - dollars and cents - which had replaced pounds and pence on the 10th of July 1967.
My personal favourite though, was the letter to the editor debating whether mini-skirts were possibly the cause of economic crises?
In the intervening half century we've lived through the Vietnam War, the oil shock of the 1970s, the 1987 sharemarket crash, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, 9/11, the GFC and Donald Trump.
Yes times were simpler in 1967 but they were a heck of a lot tougher in 1917. Give me an embattled Donald Trump over the Battle of Messines any day!
Jamie Mackay is the host of The Country 12pm-1pm weekdays on Radio Sport, Newstalk ZB, Hokonui and iHeartRadio