“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.
NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX #researchanddestroySeptember 5, 2020
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."
Wrote a little song for Noel. pic.twitter.com/OzTO9STiU6September 15, 2020
Hi Ian you discredited yourself with your backward views and non logical actions👍🏻September 14, 2020
The Public have lost all respect and credibility for your views!Your music and cheekbones are a dream ❤️but your tweets are a nightmare 👍🏻September 14, 2020
Elsewhere, a Twitter challenge to "name that band", set to a photograph of Brown and Gallagher, arose. Fans were quick to respond with suggestions.
And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. https://t.co/O3DzUC4YLZSeptember 15, 2020
30 Seconds to SARS https://t.co/lMi81ePrUgSeptember 15, 2020
We Aren't Scientists https://t.co/7KiPY7OEI1September 15, 2020
Miley Virus. https://t.co/OCdjhrw68WSeptember 15, 2020