On that front, he seems to be pinning his hopes on a cabinet reshuffle this summer. According to the Telegraph, those due a promotion include Jim Murphy, Liam Byrne and – surprise, surprise – Ed Miliband. Whilst Hilary Benn, Des Browne and Hazel Blears can expect to be flung from the battlements.
This isn't so much a reshuffle, then, as a dilution. Whilst Murphy et al. may be capable in their own right, their youthful presence will hardly reassure voters in these tough economic times.
As James has already pointed out, there's an arsenal of big guns on the Labour back benches – including Charles Clarke, Jon Cruddas, Alan Milburn, Frank Field, Stephen Byers and David Blunkett – who'd fit the bill perfectly. But Brown's internecine stubbornness means they'll never get fielded. A shame.