This is a video made by Jenny Marra, Labour MSP for North East Scotland. You might not want to watch the whole thing as she has clearly never heard Polonius's advice about being brief.
That said, the meat and bones of the video are that Ms Marra is complaining about the cutting of a bus route, by, she alleges, Dundee City Council.
The bus route in question is the 4S, which used to take pupils directly from the West End of the town to St Johns RC Academy. That bus has been withdrawn because the company which runs the bus network says that it was not profitable. A separate bus, the 26, is available, however, it makes a more circuitous route and takes approximately 10-15 minutes longer.
Now apart from the fact that some of the pupils seemed to need to get up relatively earlier than others because of the bus change, that there was a measure of dubiety about how many times pupils had to be late before they were put in detention, and that there only seem to be about 5 or 6 pupils in the video and thus on the bus, I was surprised that Ms Marra appears to be unaware of the arrangements for running buses in Dundee.
Since Mrs Thatcher deregulated the buses in the UK in 1986s, councils have not had direct control over the services provided. At this point public transport ceased to be run for the convenience of passengers, and became profit making organisations, run for the benefit of their shareholders, who probably never used them. The current situation is that the buses in Dundee are run by National Express, a company which is based in Birmingham, England. It wouldn't be unreasonable at this point to say that during 13 years of UK Labour government and 8 years of Scotland Labour government, no one ventured to re-regulate the transport system.
Ms Marra is, however, calling upon Dundee City Council (an SNP administration) to "reinstate" the bus. Simply put, they can't. Ms Marra would be better employed petitioning National Express. They can.
Perhaps a subsidy is being sought? But these are hard times; we are all having to do without. Even pensioners can't expect buses to take them exactly where they want to go, directly. Why should school pupils' buses be subsidised when there is alternative transport available? And in any case, if that is what Marra is looking for, why does she not say so instead of demanding something that she must know cannot be done?
And she knows it cannot be done because various people from the council have told her, including Cllr Will Dawson, the Convenor of City Development. However, it's clearly not her practice to allow the truth to get in the way of a good story.
What is wrong with kids that they can't get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning, or maybe walk, at least part of the way? The pupils on the video looked to me to be around 14 or 15 years old. Marra says that they have PE kit or musical instruments to carry... not that I saw any... but what does she think we used to do with our PE kit and musical instruments?
Really, I can't help feeling that this is just a cheap shot by a Labour politician at an SNP council, which she must know full well is not in a position to do what she is asking.