SO farewell Laura Kuenssberg and hello Chris Mason as the BBC’s new political editor, who started the job this week. Most folk are confused by the Beeb’s plethora of editors, special correspondents, correspondents and ordinary reporters.

Geeky, bespectacled Mason, 42, is now in charge of the team of people who cover UK domestic politics for the corporation’s TV and radio channels. By my headcount, that’s around 16 reporters. Yet somehow Mason’s new fiefdom does not include the BBC’s dedicated parliamentary correspondent nor the political editors of the home nations. Who says the BBC is top heavy?

Mason’s promotion is the result of a game of musical chairs among the Beeb’s political reporting superstars.

La Kuenssberg has replaced Andrew Marr fronting BBC One’s Sunday politics show, while Andy transfers to LBC and the private sector. Kuenssberg’s seven years as political editor were not without controversy, though she remained effortlessly cool while reporting at all hours of the day and night, during the endless Brexit saga.

Her seeming inside track to Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings might just have been good journalism but often came across as cronyism. In 2017, the BBC Trust officially questioned her impartiality regarding a piece on Jeremy Corbyn.

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Will Chris Mason prove any less controversial, especially since the new BBC director-general, Tim Davie, is a former Tory candidate? In fact, Mason was the second choice for the job, after the BBC hierarchy binned the original all-female shortlist. This suggests that perhaps the Beeb has decided to keep a low profile by hiring someone low key. Or it might be that the new director-general is determined to stamp out BBC wokeness by hiring a blunt Yorkshireman, on an annual salary of £260,000.

How has Mason performed during his first week in the hotseat? His first outing with the top editorial billing was a Panorama programme devoted to the Tory “levelling-up” project, paying a visit to Barnsley to see if Tory investment plans were making any difference.

This was interspersed with an anodyne face-to-face interview with Michael Gove, the minister in charge. I have to say I thought the result was pretty lightweight and fell over to be “even-handed” and non-controversial. If you remember hard-hitting, agenda-driven documentary programmes such as ITV’s World in Action, then this was the very opposite. The whole point about TV investigative reporting is to take a stance. Mason just wants to be nice to everyone.

Mason’s next real test was the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday. Arguably, there were two key issues to look for in this outlining of the government’s legislative agenda – the cost-of-living crisis and the looming disaster in Northern Ireland over the EU Protocol. Surprisingly, the Queen’s Speech said nothing about legislating to dump the Protocol, which had been widely expected.

Mason explained this away: “There’s been a convention in government about the extent to which it should make a conscious and significant contribution in this Queen’s Speech to doing something around the Northern Ireland Protocol … especially with a delicate, four-dimensional diplomacy to put off in the context of the European Union … Instead, there’s some careful language nodding to the sensitivities without an absolute commitment to delivering new legislation …”

This is gobbledygook at best and hardly great journalese. Translation: the government is in a hole over the Protocol, especially after Sinn Fein came first in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections. Boris is playing for time in the hope something turns up.

Which indicates to me that Chris Mason is feeling a little out of his depth trying to explain Westminster’s machinations to the British public. He certainly failed to deliver the sort of pithy explanations that La Kuenssberg could wring out of Boris. Which is very strange as Mason normally has a more tabloid style than his predecessor.

You can see this in Mason’s latest Twitter offerings – he only has 206k followers compared to Kuenssberg’s 1.3 million. He posted his first tweet as political editor on Monday. By my count, by Thursday, he’d tweeted 17 times about Keir Starmer’s pledge to resign if he received a fixed penalty notice from Durham police. That’s far more references to the Labour leader than about the Queen’s Speech or Boris Johnson or Partygate. There were also eight plugs for his own Panorama programme.

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Of course, I accept that Starmer’s hostage to political fortune is a good story. But why no tweets about the Northern Ireland crisis, which is much more important? And why no scoops or breaking news? Or is Chris Mason just out of the political loop? The point of the Beeb’s top political editor is to break news and Mason needed to prove himself from the get-go.

Which brings us to the other story of the week, the worsening economic storm. Again, the Queen’s Speech was devoid of anything significant in regard to the government doing very much to limit the cratering of living standards of ordinary people.

The Tory response was to witter on about the Queen’s Speech not being a Budget. But that was so patently peely-wally that ministers were soon falling over themselves leaking that new economic measures would be announced urgently. The Chancellor, whose political star has fast faded, was even heard to mutter the words “windfall tax”.

But again, Mr Mason was absent without journalistic leave. He did manage a comment on the BBC website entitled “a quick thing from me on my way home after the State Opening of Parliament” – hardly an invitation to readers.

Did we discover some crumb of news or insider gossip regarding the government’s economic strategy? Zero, zilch, nothing. Instead, Mason parroted the Cabinet line that “few would suggest the government’s intervention could or should be on the scale of a once-in-a-century pandemic”. I must be one of those few.

It is not that Chris Mason is obviously biased or in the government’s pocket. It is just that – so far – he is a wet blanket. Maybe somebody out there is happy with that.