Zealot – a member of an ancient Jewish sect in Judea in the first century who fought to the death against the Romans and who killed or persecuted Jews who collaborated with the Romans
zealot – a fervent and even militant proponent of something
I was reminded of this word, and these definitions, when listening to Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s national director for patients and information, being questioned on the Today Programme this morning. After a fairly devastating critique by a computer database professional, of the whole Plan to abstract huge numbers of GP patient data from all surgeries throughout England he was asked why the roll-out of the Plan had been delayed by six months. The computer expert had stated why he thought the Plan was so bad, and then Kelsey demonstrated why he inhabited the position he does.
He stated categorically that the Data extraction and distribution Plan was totally misunderstood, that it was and would be the greatest tool yet in the fight against disease and illness, and people just should trust him, and his experts, and lay all our private data out for him to mine, mulch and disseminate to industry, to relevant charities and of course, to private medical companies. He just plain refused to even acknowledge that people’s worries were justified, because He was right, and no exception to his demands should be even contemplated. A Zealot indeed! I am so glad I have opted-out of this man’s pernicious spying systems by signing the simple form printed by my GP’s practice, because even the doctors don’t like it!