The EO Internet list

I was interested to observe that the EO Yahoo list is closing down on December 17th. This is a popular list, although not nearly as many people use it these days as did in its heyday. I have an idea that it was seen by some of the trustees at Education Otherwise as something of a hotbed of sedition. There has been some pretty heavy handed moderation over the last year or so, especially when people ask awkward questions about the accounts and AGM.

This threat to close down the list looks like the first test of the ability of the new trustees to make a difference to EO. An attempt is being made to shift the centre of gravity of the organisation from the North to the South. Until last month, Fiona Nicholson and Annette Taberner, both of whom live in Sheffield, held the levers of power and showed a marked reluctance to allow anybody else near them. Now Shena Deuchars and Heidi de Wet, both in Swindon, are trying to wrest control of some aspects of Education otherwise from the Old Guard. I think it would be unwise to bet on the eventual outcome of this struggle. Some of those who took over EO in 2007/2008 have shown a dogged determination to hang on in there, even when many of the members are displaying a marked lack of enthusiasm for their leadership. I have great faith in Fiona Nicholson's ability to remain put and not surrender any of her power to a bunch of upstarts. She is at any rate a force to be reckoned with. Only recently, she was rumoured to have been instrumental in getting rid of Linda Hitchman, who has been keeping the books at Education otherwise for some time. Apparently Fiona felt that there was room for only one strong leader in EO.

It will be interesting to see what develops over the next few weeks. This business about closing down the list will provide something of an indication as to how strong the Swindon faction are and whether they really have the determination and tenacity to take on Sheffield. If the EO list closes on December 17th, it will be a good sign that Sheffield is winning the power struggle.

On an unrelated note, what has happened to Tania Berlow these days? She has gone from posting on various lists at least fifty times day to nothing at all. Perhaps she found being the public face of the 'Secret Group' a little too lively for her?