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Noel Gallagher outs himself as an anti-masker, the music world responds

A picture of Noel Gallagher on stage
(Image credit: Future)

Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher has announced he's opposed to government requirements surrounding mask-wearing, leading to widespread criticism from the music world and beyond.

“It’s not a law," Gallagher told radio presenter Matt Morgan on a now-deleted episode of his podcast. "There’s too many fucking liberties being taken away from us now … I choose not to wear one.

Avoiding the point made by scientists that mask-wearing is for the benefit of the population as well as the individual, he continued: "If I get the virus it’s on me, it’s not on anyone else … it’s a piss-take. There’s no need for it … They’re pointless.

“I was going up to Manchester the other week and some guy’s going, ‘Can you put your mask on,’ on the train, ‘because the transport police will get on and fine you a thousand pounds. But you don’t have to put it on if you’re eating.’ So I was saying: Oh right, this killer virus that’s sweeping through the train is gonna come and attack me, but see me having a sandwich and go, leave him, he’s having his lunch?

“Why do you have to wear one when you’re having a fucking haircut, but you don’t have to wear one in the pub?”

Gallagher joins Ian Brown as the second Mancunian music star to adopt a vehemently anti-mask stance. The Stone Roses frontman has been tweeting about the tyranny of mask wearing, along with the "lame stream media" and "government lies and propaganda" for the past few weeks, leading many to label him a conspiracy theorist. 

Both Gallagher and Brown's comments have attracted ire from fellow artists and fans. While Field Music's David Brewis penned a song for Gallagher called Oh Noel – the lyrics to which read: 'Oh Noel, it’s not about whether you catch it, you stupid knob, it’s more about if you’ve got it asymptomatically, and you pass it on to somebody who dies – you stupid shit' – Brown's key opposition has come from a more unlikely pair: Irish pop duo Jedward. 

Responding to a tweet in which Brown claimed the term "conspiracy theorist" was "a term invented by the lame stream media to discredit those who can smell and see through the government/media lies and propaganda", Jedward replied: "Hi Ian you discredited yourself with your backward views and non logical actions", and in a follow up tweet, "The public have lost all respect and credibility for your views! Your music and cheekbones are a dream but your tweets are a nightmare."

Elsewhere, a Twitter challenge to "name that band", set to a photograph of Brown and Gallagher, arose. Fans were quick to respond with suggestions.