Elsie Tu spent a zillion years fighting the colonial authorities. She knew her enemy, understood its evil ways, found its weak spots and, in the face of oppression, deceit and character assassination, came through victorious. The people loved her for it. But in the dying days of British rule, when the Governor and his dupes in the Democratic Party linked arms to check her advance, the people deserted her. It was then she adopted the canniest strategy of all. With feline subtlety, she hissed, spat, arched her back, retreated a step backwards and took a flying leap over their heads, landing sure-footedly behind enemy lines. There she found other people who loved her more. They even gave her a Grand Bauhinia Medal. In her ninth life and her ninth decade she had become more formidable a battler than ever before against the cunning of the colonialists. Even after they had fled, defeated, their influence remained. Wherever it lurked, she would seek it out and destroy it without mercy. But, yesterday, for a brief moment she showed fear. Before her was an enemy less predictable and more dangerous than the mere Government of her native Britain. It was, heaven preserve her, the individual. The person she had fought to protect from official oppression. For, in its last few hours of rule, the British empire had unleashed one of its most dangerous secret agents in the Legislative Council. Lau Chin-shek had slipped through an amendment to the Bill of Rights Ordinance, giving the individual the right to sue not only Government and official bodies, but other individuals for breaches of human rights. Mrs Tu conjured up for provisional legislators the spectre of the litigious Hong Kong person: allowing Mr Lau's amendment to remain would put Hong Kong on the path to ruin, towards its reincarnation as a litigious society like the United States, where even church pastors were warned not to give advice to parishioners for fear of being sued for ineffective counsel. Terrifying indeed. Imagine if Mrs Tu had been able to sue Democratic Party legislator Szeto Wah for depriving her of the right to win an election. The grand old lady of the Provisionals quickly regained her composure. She knew where to attack. Those who supported Mr Lau's amendment as a bulwark against the abuse of human rights had been fooled by the conspiracy she knew so well. It was like all the other threats of human rights being violated after June 30, 1997, that had not come to pass, that tissue of lies and deceit built up over 10 years that Hong Kong people were only now waking up to. Let it not lead us down the path of frivolous litigation. Provisional legislators knew what they had to do. The amendment was repealed.