6 NOVEMBER 1999, Page 36

Bouncers A la Blair

From Mr William Field Sir: I have worked as a doorman/bouncer for a number of years and agree almost entirely with Damien McCrystal's portrait of how the trade is changing ('You're barred', 30 October). The rise of 'security consultants' aka 'door supervisors' is symp- tomatic of the rush towards regulation in Blair's Britain.

Just one thing he forgot to mention was the unrelenting political correctness and preoccupation with safety which now underpins our profession. Getting a licence from a local authority — a recent regula- tion with cross-party support — entails undergoing a slightly demented course in cultural sensitivity. Sample 'scenarios' dur- ing these new training schemes included dealing with snogging lesbians and Islamic fundamentalists in an appropriate fashion. A South Yorkshire college even offers a door supervisor's diploma!

Whenever officialdom talks of making bouncing safer, it soon turns into a tirade based on stereotypes of thick-set and some- times brutal working-class men. These stereotypes miss the point — if bouncing is to work effectively, it has to be done by hard cases and not by jumped-up bureau- crats.

William Field

174 Long Henry Row, Sheffield