The up and coming nature of the early years of Edwardian Palmers Green had a significant effect on its politics. Frances Spalding, in her book Stevie Smith, a critical biography, setting the scene for Stevie’s childhood, says of Palmers Green in that era:
Very quickly Palmers Green developed a reputation for being one of the most snobbish of London’s outer suburbs…The political flavour of this up-and-coming residential area was already noticeably right-wing. A Palmers Green Conservative and Unionist Association was formed in 1907, and when a Liberal MP, James Branch, a Nonconformist shoe manufacturer from Hackney who had narrowly won his Enfield seat in 1906 election, spoke at Palmers Green in 1909. He had a bag of rubbish thrown at him. The tone of the area is reflected in the correspondence columns of the local press, where a persistent demand for better services from Southgate Urban District Council is coupled with a violent antipathy to paying for those services in increased rates.
About this section
This section includes one person who was educated in Palmers Green, but who did not represent the area – the Labour MP Guardian writer and champion of women’s rights Baroness Jeger was educated at Southgate County High School in Fox Lane.
The remainder are MPs who have represented our constituency, including Sir Anthony Berry who was killed by the IRA in the Brighton bombings, the once infamous Michael Portillo and Steven Twigg who ousted him on an amazing election night in 1997.
Palmers Green has been part of a number of constituencies down the years. From 1918 to 1950 it was part of Wood Green, before becoming today’s Enfield Southgate.
One reply on “Politics”
On the question of local politicians, I have always had it my mind that Leo Genn, British film actor before and after WW2, and, I believe, local resident, served as a councillor, and maybe even Mayor on the old Southgate UDC. Can anyone confirm this at all? I’ve tried all the usual internet searches, but to no avail.