It’s being called “the Wellington boot”, a “botched putsch”: yesterday, having spent hundreds of donors’ pounds to get to the UK, Hoani John Wanoa, the would-be king of England, was unceremoniously popped back on the next plane back to Auckland, NZ.
Wanoa, whose plans had included overthrowing Queen Elizabeth II and installing himself as King William IV (or reasonable facsimile thereof) arrived at 4:50 a.m., and spent a full day being questioned by Border Force officers.
Meanwhile, Andy Devine, who’d flown to the UK from Greece, cooled his heels and entertained himself (and us) by conducting Facebook livestreams on his mobile phone.
In the first, he and his friend Frank are en route to London, where they hope to meet Wanoa. Their mood is jaunty, though they already know that Wanoa has been held up briefly in Customs:
Devine: We’re running late, but so’s John. John’s been holed up at the airport. Seems like they’re messing with him a little bit. We’ll find out…we’ll keep you informed if we hear anything different.
In the second video, Devine wanders the streets of London, looking for Lee Cant. Wanoa, he says, is still at Heathrow, along with two minders who’d gone to meet him.
Devine: They’ve had him in Customs, probably giving them an education with the documents he’s carrying….
Uh, yes, sure. We’re sure that’s what he was doing.
This day, which had once held such promise, is now unraveling around him. Devine seems a bit uneasy by the third video: he can’t find Cant, and Wanoa hasn’t turned up as planned.
“He’s just being held up with the legals, just the usual thing with the whatsit”, he tells one of the minders, Tony.
Tony responds, a bit hesitantly, “They did say something about a visa…”
Cut to Video 3: This is more of an interlude really, as Devine and Frank are kicked out of Westminster. Cut!
Video 4: they’re back in Westminster once more, this time sporting visitors’ badges. We’re sure this is some sort of clever dramatic foreshadowing; well played, Devine and Co.!
His opening soliloquy had us in stitches:
Certain people think it’s exceptionally funny, and highly clever, they come out with their usual bullshit and lies, so they go doing all sorts like obviously it didn’t work with myself, but obviously with John….so yeah they’ve put John through a lot of stress…
This reminded us of lectures from Every Dad Everywhere: “I suppose you thought that was very funny….”
Well, yes, actually, we did.
Devine is now starting to sweat. Is Wanoa going to show-a? [Yeah, haha, I suppose you thought that was amusing?—Ed.]
At another point Devine says, “Keep your thoughts positive and don’t let these vile critters, these shape-shifters, not in the literal form, these people they just can’t stick to a point”.
Yes, he really said that.
He’s still trying to keep up a good front, always mindful that his increasingly anxious audience is starting to wonder what the heck is happening.
As far as I’m aware everybody, John is at present chilling down with a cup of coffee….because obviously Customs have had so many phone calls from trolls and vile ugly critters, and liars and deceivers, and people that are trying to poison and distrust and distract, you know the people. …
…I’m more than positive that John can handle himself, so John…he’ll be coming through….
In Video 5, however, the inevitable, which has been creeping up slowly, finally becomes clear: Wanoa will not be coming to take over the throne and start his amazing free energy tidal whatchamacallit business.
Devine goes through one final fist-shaking spasm, berating all those who’ve claimed that Wanoa is being deported, and at one point Lee Cant wanders off to feed the ducks:
Finally, after struggling with his phone for what feels like several hours, Devine reaches Wanoa, who delivers the bad news: “They’re going to deport me”.
It seems that when the nice Border Force people discovered that he had come to the UK without the appropriate visa, they’d dug a bit further and learned that he also had come without sufficient funds to support himself for the length of his visit. Whoops.
Devine: “So you’ll not be here for the 28th, then?”
Congratulations, Captain Obvious!
Oh, and before we forget, Wanoa mentioned this little detail: apparently he’d told the Border Force that he had an appointment at Westminster, which had prompted them to search his luggage. There they found “various writings”, and these combined with some of his online blatherings suggested to them that he “might pose a threat to the government and the Queen”.
So apparently planning to commit treason is a problem, after all. Who knew?
Devine’s response to Wanoa’s news: “So, they’ve got you on technicalities, then!”
Wanoa sounded surprisingly amenable to being shipped back home, but Devine was fit to be tied. In the end, he was able to convince himself that because the Border Force people hadn’t (yet) worked out that Wanoa’s business was a scam, that made it legit.
Got that, everybody? Good.