Students of nazi Germany will know that high ranking nazis and those who joined the NSDAP early on (the "old fighters") were known as "Golden Pheasants" because of the colour of their party badge, and the golds, reds and browns in the uniform, reminiscent of a cock pheasant's plumage.
Was "Golden Pheasant" a slur term in Nazi Germany or was it fairly neutral (something like "Top Brass" in English perhaps)? Would regime loyalists have used it? Might ordinary Germans or anti-nazis have reworked the phrase into something more pejorative?
C.J. Sansom's novel Dominion has one of its characters describe a senior nazi as a "Golden Peasant" (sic).
However the narrator at that point is a somewhat disillusioned junior policeman. I'm wondering whether the author intends it deliberately as a piece of wordplay (indicative of a hostility to the regime), or if it's sloppy proofreading/editing on the part of the publisher.