PERSPECTIVEnl>A-f^>Cs’n•^Ix^^^m ^ _â„¢ -njv—-• —^ K^^^i * ^ •ii’^-nThe Berlin wall may not be the only easualty of the SovietnUnion’s disintegration. Recent elections in several Europeannstates have given evidence that nationalism is reemergingnas the dominant political force in the West. Of course,n”nationalism,” which in the broadest sense includes any assertionnof tribal or national identity, is already the spark for revolutionnand civil conflict all over the Third Wodd and more recentlynin the former dominions of the Soviet Union, butnWestern Europeans thought that they had gone beyond allnthat and that they could indulge a smile for the few fanatics innlederhosen who danced strange dances and gabbled ancientnsongs in dialects that had not been spoken for centuries. Onlyna dinosaur like Mrs. Thatcher would oppose Britain’s fullnparticipation in the European Community, and little was to benfeared from a few dozen Cornish-speakers who entertainednthe tourists with their fantasies of independence.nHowever, recent events in Britain, Sweden, Germany,nFrance, and Italy suggest that the snake is only Scotchedn(whatever that means), not killed. I say Scotched advisedly,nsince the Scots may play a key role in determining the future ofnthe United Kingdom.nNobody except John Major thought he was going to winnan election on his own, and the head of the Liberal Democratsn(the United Kingdom’s third largest party) was already demandingnproportional representation as the price of his cooperation.nIn the end, however, the average English voter decidednhe really could not stomach Neal Kinnoch. Thencampaign was remarkably devoid of issues. Labour had hopednto make health care their rallying cry but were soon boggedndown in a debate over a campaign film in which they attemptednto exploit a little girl’s long wait for an ear operation.n/nIn the end, I suspect, the election was a referendum onn14/CHRONICLESnNew World Disordernby Thomas FlemingnnnMr. Kinnoch and his principles. Kinnoch had, over the years,nopposed virtually every measure to defend Britain against thenSoviets or to assert the national will. His bright vision fornBritain’s future was of a happy little socialist province of thenEuropean Community. That may be exactly where Britainnis headed under Mr. Major—try to imagine an articulate andnintelligent version of George Bush. I took my 12-year-oldndaughter to the Tower of London about two weeks before thenelection, and we listened to one of the warders pointing outnthe usual attractions. “Are there any Americans here,” henasks. Seeing the hands rising up between the herds ofnJapanese, he bellows: “Welcome home.”nIt is an old wheeze, and I wonder how many American visitorsndo regard England or even Britain as a kind of home.nBefore I left, my wife—an Anglophile hardened in her vice—nassured me that no American could escape a nostalgia fornEngland. It is true that we cannot escape seeing our oldestnfriends, everywhere we go in the country. Every chapel innOxford contains the bones of a poet that has delighted us or anscholar that has wracked us in our student days. In the churchyardnat Swinbrook, Nancy Mitford is buried. The church atnBurford is a great monument to the maternal grandfather ofnViscount Falkland who is portrayed in a kneeling figure. AtnChichester cathedral, in addition to its poet-bishop HenrynKing, we see the Arundel tomb commemorated in one ofnPhilip Larkin’s most beautiful poems, while Winchester isnhome to a procession of worthies from Alfred the Great tonJane Austen.nIf we cease to be English, we Americans are compelled tonlive in a state of arrested adolescence. Being English, if only bynadoption, we are compelled to sympathize with our motherncountry in its national struggles. The Tower is as good a placenas any from which to contemplate English history. Like alln