Labour Party president Mike Williams must have been tired and emotional or greatly deluded to believe he was finally on the track of a "neutron bomb" which would blast National leader John Key's election campaign into smithereens.
The upshot of Williams' lunatic attempt to try and link Key with the notorious 1988 H-fee scam - when no such evidence has been uncovered - is that Labour is now (rightfully) scrambling to fight off accusations that it is more interested in launching smears against its opponents than fighting a fair election at a time of extreme international financial turbulence.
The Prime Minister's pathetic attempt to distance herself from Williams' ham-fisted behaviour lasted a mere 24 hours before she was forced to confirm the Labour Party paid for what she initially described as his "private mission".
What Williams had clearly hoped was that his trip to Melbourne to inspect court documents would uncover evidence linking Key with the so-called H-Fee - two payments totalling A$66.5 million ($75 million) to Allan Hawkin's Equiticorp, funnelled via sham foreign exchange transactions in 1988.
The deal was orchestrated by former Elders (Australia) executive Ken Jarrett with the help of former Elders (NZ) Merchant Finance executive Paul Richards - who used to report to Key - on the transactional side but was given immunity from prosecution.
It is unfathomable that Williams and Labour's taxpayer-funded "researchers" thought they would drive home a connection putting Key at the centre of this white-collar crime by uncovering evidence that had eluded the Australian National Crimes Authority's forensic investigators.
If evidence existed linking Key to the transaction he would either have faced charges, or been subpoenaed to give evidence in the subsequent court cases against Jarrett and Hawkins. He wasn't.
Key told investigators that he had been lunching with Richards on his last formal day at Elders, when Richards, his successor, had been called away to meet Jarrett.
It is risible that Key is now subject to snide innuendo that continues to publicly link him to the "H fee" transactions - simply because he initially recalled to journalists last year (wrongly as it now appears) that he had left Elders in 1987 (which was before both H-fee transactions) and that he, not Richards, paid for the fateful lunch.
It turned out that Richards (read Elders) paid on this instant. But there would have been plenty of times Key would have signed when he was the dealing room boss.
It's not surprising to me that his memory is unreliable in this case.
Key probably saved himself a sore head when his lunch partner disappeared. In 1980s Wellington, budding "masters of the universe" frequently held "blowouts" at posh restaurants: Le Normandie - where lunch started with lashings of whitebait and gallons of Krug champagne and frequently migrated into dinner - Orsini's and, of course, Plimmer House where Key and Richards lunched on August 31, 1988.
These young guys (Key would have been 27 at the time) were all rather charming, but at times also obnoxious blowhards, who revelled in their deal-making abilities during the intoxicating period when Kiwi business people went wild in the newly deregulated financial market.
This is hardly "Gotcha" territory. Just look at the young thrusters in China and Russia who are similarly milking their countries' new found financial freedoms.
What the episode does expose (again) is Key's faulty memory for critical dates in his life story. He (or wife Bronagh) should sit-down some night and pull together a resume - call it a CV if you like - that says exactly where he worked and when, then memorise it.
His failure to always be totally across the detail and his flip-flops on policies are what get him into trouble and leave him ready prey for the always on message Clark.
Will all this matter if National wins the most votes in next week's election and Key ultimately becomes Prime Minister? Probably not.
Just as in 1984, 1990 and 1999, there will be a surge of energy as Kiwis get excited over the new Government's plans. Key will have vast resources at his command and plenty of minders to keep him on track.
No one will care about the ins and outs of a 20-year-old scam when more pressing problems like this country's financial future are at stake.
Clark will be securing her next job offshore. Williams will be preparing to resign from his five plum state directorships. Winston Peters will be a (thankfully) distant memory.
Unless of course Clark - the ultimate pragmatist - tells Labour supporters in Tauranga to give their electorate vote to Peters and scraps together enough post-election allies to get her over the line. Your choice.