'Tis the nature of things for politicians to look to someone to blame when things go wrong, as long as they are not the ones being blamed.
At the moment, it would be very bad form for politicians to blame the police for anything to do with the protests. They are the heroes who in one day cleared the protest area, and many got injured in the process.
So instead politicians have decided to blame each other.
NZ First leader Winston Peters is blaming the Prime Minister and all other politicians for refusing to go and speak to the protesters.
Others are blaming Winston Peters for going to speak to the protesters.
Act leader David Seymour is blaming the Prime Minister for the Covid-19 policies.
The protesters are also blaming the same politician they were at the start: the Prime Minister.
But most are partly blaming Speaker Trevor Mallard for his music and sprinklers. In the speeches of politicians on Thursday, the Speaker came in for a fair bit of grief. There was a jab from National leader Christopher Luxon, from David Seymour, who accused Mallard of being immature, and even from Green Party co-leader James Shaw.
Mallard is a much easier target and was also the target of many on Twitter, where he can apparently do no right.
When he went out with the PM to have a look at the brown fields that are now the Parliamentary lawn, there was criticism because he had not taken a rubbish bag to help with the clean-up.
Mallard has even taken to quietly acknowledging his own failings. On Thursday night and Friday morning, the locals of Wainuiomata – Mallard's hood – turned out in force at the local marae to stop protesters camping there. He tweeted the next day: "My community is doing a better job of stopping the feral campers than I did."
A week or so ago, a cop also made a jibe to me about the quality of the Speaker's decision-making. I almost pointed out that perhaps things wouldn't have got to the point where the Speaker made bad decisions if the police had made better decisions in the first few days.
That is why politicians – including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – are right to call for a full review of the entire operation, especially the early decisions.
The biggest question is how to stop it happening again.
That means answering how it went from a scattering of tents on the first night and was allowed to grow and grow until it got so big that police could not easily bring it back under control. That has now had a huge cost, both in monetary terms but also for Wellington and for wider society.
The associated question is how the protest could have been allowed to stay for so long while all those around it – the businesses, the residents, the schools – had to suffer or stay away.
It was even worse after Covid-19 came along, it became a public health hazard and still nothing was done.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers redeemed themselves somewhat, courtesy of a good plan on Wednesday which was well-executed by the police on the ground. But those will be uncomfortable questions for them in the long run.
They were also questions National Party leader Christopher Luxon touched on when he spoke on the protest in Parliament.
I'm not convinced Mallard's Manilow and mud strategies made the situation either worse or better, though they were certainly worth pillorying. After all, the protesters also sat out a cyclone and a Covid-19 outbreak undaunted.
The only thing that seemed to worry them was the stuff that was only happening in their imaginations: the belief radiation was being beamed at them from transmitters on top of the Beehive and Parliament House.
They must have wondered why the police were not suffering from the same effects, the skin burns and headaches. Perhaps it was because the police had sunblock and hats on.
Or perhaps it was because police had metal colanders on under those hats.
The Mallard weekend should also should have given the authorities some indication of the resourcefulness and determination of the protesters. That period made it clear that the more anyone tried to stop the protesters, the more determined they were to thwart it.
Mallard has got a lot of flak for what he did wrong, but not one single MP bothered to credit him for the things he got right. The past three weeks have taken up his entire time, and he hasn't done much else wrong.
James Shaw put up the harder question to answer: how to stop the mentality that drove the protest from taking hold in the first place.
The politicians also had some tough words about the protesters – and those who supported them, whether tacitly or not.
Shaw's line was: "The grifters and the charlatans, the political opportunists [yes, that's you Winston – ed], and the white supremacists who were behind the protest melted away like cowards and abandoned the field to the desperate people that they'd led astray."
But not everything about the protest was bad. In its 24 days, there were moments of lightness, funny bits and the absurd.
For the two weeks leading up to the big clearance, there was our daily episode of Moving Blocks.
These were the police manoeuvres to either add to or rearrange the large concrete blocks used to contain the protest area and stop more cars getting in.
This show aired at a different time each day so the protesters could not predict it.
It involved a forklift lurching along Bowen St with a phalanx of police running alongside it. The aim was to put a new block somewhere or reposition an existing one.
There were extra points if the forklift got to the location of the day before the protesters had time to sprint there.
Sometimes the rearrangements were so slight, one wondered if the police were consulting feng shui guides.
There were moments of triumph for the protesters. There was the great toilet block construction.
One morning, up popped a full toilet block. It was built and plumbed in by those in the protest groups, who had slipped in sheets of ply, dunnies and pipes.
The piping was carefully braced, the walls inside painted and it was named the Peehive.
It led to suggestions Housing Minister Megan Woods employ its creators for the KiwiBuild scheme.
I hope sociologists were in there somewhere, studying the human behaviour in that village of 24 days.