The revelation from Nicky Hager that politics is a dirty business comes tens of thousands of years late. Machiavelli probably wrote the first book on the dark arts of politics but the Renaissance man was only recording what politicians had been doing since civilisation began.
Politics has always been a dirty business. Marriages of convenience both literal and metaphorical; betrayal of family, friends and allies; blackmail and assassination - when you look at New Zealand's political landscape, we've got off lightly.
Oh, sure, Robert Muldoon off his leash and ripping into Colin Moyle and Bill Rowling could be an ugly sight.
Watching the fourth Labour Government rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic as they sacked and elected three leaders in the space of weeks to try to hang on to power was an unedifying spectacle.
Jenny Shipley's cobbling together of disparate parties and individuals to form the most unlikely of coalitions was another example of a party's desire to stay in power at any price.
The allegations from Hager that right-wing bloggers have been flung dirt from those close to the Prime Minister is hardly surprising.
Look at the personal attacks on Helen Clark and many of her cabinet over the nine years Labour governed the country.
Nobody likes seeing the worst of human nature. But at least the knives plunged into the backs of our modern politicians are metaphorical, not literal.