TWO of The National’s contributors have made some incredibly thought-provoking and interesting points this week and in my final week here (for now), I want to reflect on them.

The first comes from Jonathan Shafi, who on Tuesday argued the Yes movement is back at square one and needs a complete renewal while highlighting the road since 2014, strategy contradictions and an unclear route.

At one point, he states that the Yes movement is “not ‘on an unstoppable journey’”.

He also asks if the SNP’s election campaign is about independence or ousting the Tories. As much as you could argue these go hand in hand, it is a stretch. These are two very different things to any clued-up voter and as the campaign speeches, materials and subsequent polling has revealed, both messages are getting lost within themselves.

READ MORE: SNP say 'no positive case for Union' after Gordon Brown independence admission

Back to the movement itself, Shafi raises valid points with the most glaring to me – purpose.

A date is a purpose for a movement. A route is a purpose for a movement. A strategy provides purpose. Objectives provide purpose. Hope provides purpose.

All the above are either completely absent or lacking. Except for hope.

One of the things that genuinely keeps this newsroom going is the stories we tell that shine with Scotland’s hope. It is also what has been and is keeping the independence movement going – it just doesn’t reach the goal.

The National: Independence rally

Looking at 2014, Shafi argued that what we know for sure is Scots are “willing to engage in high levels of activism and campaigning” – if given the opportunity. I’ll get to that later.

Lesley Riddoch also reacted to Shafi’s piece and asked: Is the Yes movement tired and in urgent need of vision and unity to rekindle hope?

I think the word urgency here is very important.

While Shafi argues that is will take decades to ensure a complete renewal of “concept, organisation and leadership” – to which I don’t disagree with as that is where the movement is – the people leading groups and organisation must also understand and recognise that urgency is needed to get the ball of renewal rolling.

One way Riddoch suggests is quite a concept. One that I believe if anyone could do it, it would be her.

“My hope is that later this year we will witness one single, unified march for independence – commemorating the 10th anniversary of indyref – with AUOB, Believe in Scotland, the SNP, Alba, Scottish Greens and others organising together and walking side by side.”

READ MORE: Scottish independence billboards appear across Glasgow

It comes after the row between Believe in Scotland, Alba and Scottish Greens came to a head days before the BiS march and rally this weekend.

Realistic? Who knows. Renewing? In a way. The start? I’d say.

To add to both of these fantastic narratives – branch out.

Yes has to involve other campaigns and actively pursue these alignments. It’s difficult, hard, long work but one reason this is not being done is it is simply that and the idea of decades to network, foster and solidify these links is not attractive.

This provides the movement with urgency. It shows the people of Scotland that this is not one issue, it is all. The trade union movement is getting there, climate as well – even in recent months foreign policy calls with Gaza activists marching for Scottish independence this weekend.

But at every picket line, every climate march, every sit-in demonstration, Scottish independence must be on show. With every injustice, report, parliamentary committee, media article on Scottish issues – bring it into the independence fold. Speak with those voices and listen to their ideas. The movement will grow from as Shafi states, “the remnants of the movement in a state of disorientation”.

I’m incredibly excited to see if when I return to this post in November where the movement is – and I’ll continue to watch and give thoughts on my Twitter/X (@laura_pollock) from South America. I will also be at the Believe in Scotland and Pensioners for Indy march and rally on Saturday so if you see me, please say hello!

One of the projects providing hope and vision is Future Voices. The team behind series two of the initiative is on the final nine days of their crowdfunder and every penny and share helps!

The Future Voices project, launched in September last year, has created one series of short clips with activists playing the roles of future citizens and has its team set on series two.

Each video from the first series - which you can watch here - includes ordinary citizens speaking in the present tense, describing their daily life in Scotland.

The National:

In an update to supporters, the group has shared that five regional groups are now involved in creating targeted area videos. Furthermore, draft scripts for four videos are complete and another two are in the works.

The crowdfunder is almost 50% of the way complete and like I said, any penny helps!