Not content with seeking to remove 104 year-old grannies from their families and deporting them back to China, the Howard Government is keeping up its resistance to accepting the return of a prominent political refugee.

Yes, the push is growing to keep Gareth Evans out of Australia.

Foreign Minister and Formula 1 wanna-be, Alexander Downer, salted this story in The Australian today to give the impression Evans is content spending his post-politics days sucking off the global government teat in Brussels and the Swiss Alps: PM backs Gareth Gareth for UN job Matt Price

But we understand Australia’s most famous political dissident is desperate to return home to take up a frontbench post in Kim Beazley’s Opposition. Not the European high life and $375,000 jobs for him.

No, he’s keen to get home and rub shoulders with the likes of the Ferguson brothers and Anthony Albanese in taking the good fight up to John Howard.

Word is, Gareth has applied for membership of the Albanese Left Faction (doubling its membership), and is keen on securing a nation-building portfolio. He’s believed to be lobbying for the post as Spokesman for Inland Drainage and Rural Mosquito Control.

He has told close friends: “Listen Cheryl, if Simon Crean can get up parade around as Shadow Treasurer, I’m good for at least a middle-rank portfolio.”

Stay tuned for the latest developments, and remind yourself of the last time Gareth hit the headlines back home (and this might explain why the Government fears his presence back on the Opposition benches) – Hillary Bray assesses the wreckage

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.