The British state and its traditional owners have myriad ways of making their power mysterious and occult. Top of the list is the Queen's Speech, recently given, in which the actual ruler of the country attends Parliament to read out a list of policies, as if she had thought of them herself. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Well, if you're Prime Minister David Cameron, you could have a backbencher from your own party propose a motion of regret that there something was missing from the speech and thus have the spectacle of up to 100 members of the Conservative Party voting against a speech by the Queen.