Van Morrison has accused the UK government of trying to “enslave” the population in a series of songs protesting against the coronavirus lockdown.
The Northern Ireland musician described the government as “fascist bullies disturbing our peace” who are “taking our freedom”.
He also claimed that scientists are “making up crooked facts” in a bid to control the public.
Morrison will put out three new tracks in the coming weeks, starting with one called Born To Be Free next week.
“Scientists are making up crooked facts to justify measures that enslave the population” – Van Morrison to release lockdown protest songs https://t.co/ESkyuL9vRX— Jim Corr (@Jimcorrsays) September 18, 2020
It contains the lyrics: “The new normal, is not normal/ It’s no kind of normal at all/ Everyone seems to have amnesia/ Don’t need the government cramping my style/ Give them an inch, they take a mile,” according to The Telegraph.
In a statement announcing the songs, Morrison said: “I’m not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already. It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”
Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann criticised the singer, telling BBC Radio Ulster: “I don’t know where he gets his facts. I know where the emotions are on this, but I will say that sort of messaging is dangerous.
“Our messaging is about saving lives.
“If Van wanted to sing a song about saving lives, then that would be more in keeping with where we are at the minute.”
Morrison had started performing at socially distanced venues that reopened following lockdown restrictions but have since closed after Covid-19 cases rose.
Van Morrison, who’s friends with yer da on Facebook, to start supergroup with Ian Brown, Noel Gallagher and Jim Corr. pic.twitter.com/JS561NaeJY— John Self (@john_self) September 18, 2020
He previously said in a statement that socially distanced gigs are not an economically viable solution and called on the music industry to “fight the pseudo-science” surrounding the pandemic.
“I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this. Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up,” he said.
Boris Johnson is considering the introduction of new national restrictions – possibly as soon as next week – as he tries to get a handle on the spread of coronavirus.
Matt Hancock, in a statement on R4 today said “Don’t believe what you read in the papers, tests are available in all areas.” A very Trumpian statement to make. When you tell a lie and keep repeating it ….. we need a #circuitbreak from these dishonest charlatans #CorruptTories— Steve Bray #HoldThemToAccount (@snb19692) September 18, 2020
With Covid-19 cases now doubling every seven to eight days, the government is looking at introducing nationwide restrictions for a short period to try to “short-circuit” the virus and slow the spread of the disease.
The prime minister said on Wednesday that he did not want a second national lockdown as it would likely have “disastrous” financial consequences for the UK and “we are going to do everything in our power to prevent it”.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told Sky News on Friday that a national lockdown was the “last line of defence”.
Coronavirus cases are rising across the UK, with further 3,395 confirmed infections and 21 deaths reported on Thursday.