It used to be only actors who went on “journeys”. Making a movie was a journey. Getting divorced, trying a new hairstyle. Anything that involved difficulty, however big or small.

Now everyone is at it. Even the dog. In her case, it’s a weight-loss journey. As the vet likes to put it when she steps on the scales, “Where are we on our weight-loss journey this week?”

Perhaps I should not have been surprised to see the phrase applied to the push for an independent Scotland, but there it was, coming from the SNP leader, and First Minister, Humza Yousaf himself.

The occasion was a tweet publicising this Saturday’s march and rally for independence in Edinburgh. Mr Yousaf, walking and talking towards the camera like the anchorman he could have been, said mobilising the power of the people was fundamental to achieving independence. Supporters coming together at “key moments” was “an important part of our independence journey”.

I’m grateful he cleared that up, because I had been wondering why anyone would want to give up their Saturday afternoon to march for something that is not happening any time soon. Might as well hold a rally to demand Keir Starmer commits to taxing the seriously rich. Some things are just not on the agenda, and very likely never will be.

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When one person after another said they did not know there was a march on Saturday I began to wonder if I had imagined it. There has been so little pre-publicity. But sure enough, some good egg at SNP HQ soon confirmed it - the march in support of an independent Scotland in the EU march starts at Johnston Terrace by Edinburgh Castle at 1.30pm with the rally taking place outside the Scottish Parliament. Speakers include Mr Yousaf, the actor Brian Cox, Lorna Slater of the Greens, and Lesley Riddoch. “We aim to create an inclusive, family-friendly, joyous event,” say the organisers.

So there you go, a free plug. Consider it an act of goodwill. Someone has gone to a lot of effort to make this gathering happen, and where’s the harm in it? It is your right, given various restrictions, to march in support of a cause. Maybe even your duty at times. There is no feasibility test applied to aims, no bar that has to be met.

But even if the number who turn out on Saturday matches the crowd that came out against the war in Iraq, the aim will not be realised. So again, why bother?

Back to Mr Yousaf, still continuing his piece to camera. “Let’s hope for a sunny afternoon,” he says with the smile of a weather presenter. “But I know that whatever the weather, nothing can dampen our enthusiasm and determination to secure independence and a better future for Scotland.” And that’s a wrap.

Fair enough, the SNP leader and his party have had a rotten time of it lately. Accounts published last week show the party went into the red by more than £800,000 last year. Membership has dropped by almost 30% in 18 months. The national treasurer blamed the cost of living crisis, but let us get real here - the party has been a runaway train since Nicola Sturgeon resigned.

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Even before that, each route towards a second independence referendum had been blocked. No followed no. The Conservative Government was a no, ditto the Supreme Court. The latest plan is to use the General Election as a battering ram, but whether it is Sir Keir, Rishi Sunak, or someone else in Number 10, the answer will still be no.

You can see how dispiriting this must be to a supporter of independence. It was never going to happen overnight. Everyone knew that. But never at all, or for the foreseeable future? Truly, a generation? That is a tough prospect for any believer.

As if that is not enough, there has been the two-year police investigation into SNP finances, an inquiry that is still going on.

All those treks up and down the hill, and now they want you to keep on marching. For the umpteenth time of asking, why? As a show of faith, as a way to support each other after what has been a dismal year so far? I can understand the latter. The strongest political parties are like family; all the worst fights happen within. You carry on because that’s what families do.

Saturday’s march and rally stands out because of the EU link. The aim is to rejoin, but how, when, and how much will it cost us? If someone was going to answer those questions on Saturday it would be worth turning up. Ditto other queries on the currency of an independent Scotland, or pensions.

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But a rally is not the place for delving into details. Rallies are about the big picture. So instead of yet another march, why not hold a series of smaller, town hall-style meetings and invite the public? Isn’t that what the next phase of the campaign should be? The three candidates in the leadership election were all for spreading the word, being more activist. That involves more than showing your face at the Edinburgh Festival, as Mr Yousaf and Ms Forbes did several times.

People are not going to back independence because a politician came across well at a gig. Nor is the average person going to read a consultation paper. Convincing people happens one conversation at a time.

Who knows how many will turn up on Saturday. It is a decent lineup of speakers, which always helps, and there is comfort to be had in solidarity. Nothing brings people together like feeling they are under siege. It’s you against the world.

But there has to be more to the day. People need to walk away feeling they have achieved something other than stretching their legs and having a natter with like-minded others (though there’s a lot to be said for that).

If people don’t see a point they won’t be back, and the marches will eventually wither away. Some might celebrate that, but not all. Politics in general could do with being more big tent, which sounds such a touchy-feely, hopey-changey thing to say. But hey, we are all of us on journeys. And don’t forget to take the dog.