“A Little Less Rich”

Still overwhelmed and so grateful to Amy Watson, Rebecca Debenham, Sue Allen, Max Shanahan, Dave Tubby, Lesley Shedwick, Arron Stuart Blake-Knight and Giovanni Spoz Esposito for last night and for the lovely messages from those who could not be there. Thanks for the gifts too. I feel really privileged that you have written this poem for me, Spoz. You are all amazing and it has been great working with all of you over so many years. Most of all, though, thank you all for being such good friends.

“A Little Less Rich”

Northfield’s going to be a little less … ‘Rich’,
A little less green on our daily football pitch,
A little less happy and a little less good,
A little less caring in our neighbourhood,
A little less joy and perhaps fewer cheers,
As we turn the page on twenty seven years.
You tried to redress the balance of an unfair lot,
Tried to share a little ‘have’ with those who ‘had not’.
Without a catch – no strings attached,
Like a surrogate hen sits on eggs till they’re hatched.
You did it because you cared …
You did it because you’d want to …
You have visions and dreams that are worth holding on to!
Justice and fairness are your middle names,
Whilst others prefer to play … political games.
You never abstain from matters that … matter,
You worked like a dog, while some cats got fatter.
But alas! All good things must come to an end,
You’re not like an old MP … more like an old friend!
You kept us on an even keel and kept our hopes afloat,
When it comes to Northfield’s wellbeing,
You’ll always get our vote!
So … put your feet up Richard and enjoy a well earned rest,
You have been our MP and we’ve been truly blessed,
Our good wishes and our thanks,
Will resound forever loud and clear
And remember we will always keep …
The red flag flying here!

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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You can reach me by email at richard@richardburden.com or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.