Well, hasn't the whale oil hit the fan, so to speak?
There is so much of the stinky stuff flying around after Nicky Hager's revelations in his book Dirty Politics that I think we all need an umbrella for protection.
I have read the book and found it interesting, well presented and believable.
The ultimate test of its accuracy, however, will be if any writs for defamation are lodged by any of the main characters in Dirty Politics.
The National Party will be hoping for the issue to disappear sooner rather than later during the election campaign.
No legal action means to me that what Hager has alleged about National's attack politics - being directed from the Beehive, using a third party to denigrate and destroy vocal opponents - is true.
If this is the case, this is a worrying situation because it uses sneaky, gutter politics in trying to smear political opponents.
I have no problem with MP1 getting stuck into MP2 and MP4 telling them publicly they are deranged ratbags and their politics suck that's part of a robust head-to-head confrontation.
Where it becomes underhand and dirty is when MP1 uses someone else someone seemingly unconnected to lead the attack and undermine MP2 and MP4.
According to Hager, Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater was being secretly fed information that the National Party didn't want to be seen coming from them.
In other words, National was trying to stay clean at arm's length while the muck got flung by a third party.
To me that is cowardly and despicable behaviour that brings no credit to the Nats.
And if I were prime minister, I'd be wanting to ensure no one in my office or headquarters was involved in such skullduggery.
Just yesterday John Key admitted one of his staff has been briefing bloggers and confirmed Hager's allegation that it was adviser Jason Ede.
That's a very different Prime Ministerial stance than his earlier response, which was to try to demean the messenger that is Hager and dismiss him as a "left-wing conspiracy theorist".
Hager is a highly regarded investigative writer, who has won a United States prize for journalism.
If I, as PM, didn't know anything about the "black ops" side of my party I'd be demanding answers and would take a few heads.
The fact our Prime Minister isn't having an inquiry into the allegations - that include ones against Ede and Justice Minister Judith Collins - does not reflect well upon him.
And let's remember that Collins is on her "last warning", according to Key. In my view, it adds to the look that he is either being kept out of the loop or he doesn't want to be told about others conducting dirty politics.
The problem for him with the squeaky clean stance is that every time he uses the "I don't know about that" line it makes him seem not in control of his own MPs or staff.
He has used it on a number of occasions, most recently over the amount of public money that National's Claudette Hauiti charged for personal use on her MP's credit card.
The danger of this whole episode for Key and his Nats is that the vital swinging voters of middle New Zealand will be concerned by what has been brought out into the light and reject such goings on.
People don't like being taken for fools and usually react badly when they find out they have been deceived.
Now I'd recommend people get a copy of Dirty Politics and see for themselves if what is written is backed up and believable.
Hager's revelations are unlikely to change the minds of National voters as has been seen on TV vox pops and it certainly won't make lefties any more enamoured of Key and Co.
It is certainly making me think long and hard about where to put my party vote.
And it hopefully will make people question the reliability of non-journalist bloggers.
For in my view, the worst accusation in Dirty Politics is that Whale Oil's Slater was paid to run blogs that were prepared by business groups to hammer their critics.
It would be like me taking money from Anadarko, or other deep-sea oil drillers, to run an anti-Greenpeace column, worded by them, and claiming it as my own.
You readers would think it was from an independent columnist, that is me, when in fact it was penned by people whose vested interests want to attack Greenpeace.
Hopefully, in the future, people will be wiser when reading non-journalist bloggers and take their whale oil with a large pinch of salt.
Richard Moore is an award-winning Western Bay journalist and photographer