Er, you WHAT? (I know, he does say "at first glance" but even so!)
Mr Major's Cabinet colleague, David Mellor, was brought down in the same month as the exchange rate disaster with tales of extra-marital activities. Norman Lamont, Mr Major's Chancellor of the Exchequer whom he had kept in post after Britain's expulsion from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, was the next to go as a result of a press campaign. Then soon afterwards Michael Mates, junior minister at the Northern Ireland Office, had to step down following revelations of dealings with a fugitive financier, Asil Nadir. At first glance Mr Brown has offered less sustenance to the press hounds.
To be fair to Whittam Smith, however, he does eventually jaywalk his way to almost the correct conclusions:
What makes Mr Brown vulnerable [an absence of strong positive instincts] is similar. The charge is that he is a ditherer. To which can be added the reputation for dishonesty that taints the entire Labour front bench, derived as it is from an addiction to spinning stories for the media and over-claiming achievements.The only thing wrong about that last sentence is the tense. Switch present progressive for the present perfect and you have it in a nutshell.
The path that Mr Major walked from his election victory in 1992 to defeat at the hands of Tony Blair in 1997 was lonely and painful...Stories began to circulate about him being lonely and isolated from trusted lieutenants, and his health and sanity were questioned. Mr Brown is marching along the same, grim road to oblivion.