When we were little kids we used to play a game whereby one of us would shadow an unsuspecting adult along the street, pretending we were following a spy. Having ascertained where they lived we would then report back to “HQ” (usually a kid’s bedroom) with all the imaginary stuff we’d discovered.
I was reminded of this game by an article on the BBC website this morning:
A British frigate shadowed a Russian warship through the North Sea near UK waters on Christmas Day, the Royal Navy has revealed.
HMS St Albans monitored the Admiral Gorshkov’s “activity in areas of national interest”, it said.
The Admiral Gorshkov, a new guided-missile frigate, is still undergoing trials, Russian media report.
The Royal Navy reports a recent “upsurge in Russian units transiting UK waters”.
HMS St Albans was sent on Saturday to “keep watch on the new Russian warship Admiral Gorshkov as it passed close to UK territorial waters”, the Royal Navy said.
The British frigate remained at sea on Monday, monitoring the Russian vessel, and was due to return to Portsmouth on Tuesday.
“I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression,” Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said.
“Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests.”
The Admiral Gorshkov, the first of a new class of multi-role blue-water frigates, has still to complete missile tests before entering service with the Russian navy next year, Russian media report.
It has reportedly been sailing regularly between the White Sea off Russia’s northern coast and the Baltic.
I suppose there are still some in Britain who would feel a thrill of nationalistic pride at the drivel put forth by Gavin Williamson – a swift snap to attention with Alf Garnett-style salute, but in reality the whole episode is no more worthy of BBC headlines than were our childhood escapades of all those years ago. The Russian vessel was merely going about its business, in international waters close to its home country.
Isn’t it time we grew up and stopped playing these childhood games?”
 “HMS St Albans: UK frigate shadows Russian warship in North Sea” BBC, 26th December 2017