Those who were before us are not our masters but our leaders. Truth lies open to all. It is not yet anyone’s possession. Much of it is left, even for those to come. Nothing, indeed, is more hostile to truth than to take away freedom of speculation.

Spineless is a publication independent of Lancaster University or Lancaster University Students' Union.

Ethics and Complaints

All our writers strive to abide by the NUJ Code of Conduct and the IPSO Editors' Code of Practice in the course of our reporting. Complaints about published material can be directed to the editorial team, whose email is:


We are not the first Spineless at Lancaster. A short-lived publication of the same name existed in 2007 - its stated principles said: "All too often other publications choose not to criticise or to remain in the comfort zone of the "main stream", we intend to speak openly on issues and we will not shy away from controversy." Some more detail about the original Spineless project can be read in Issue 21 of subtext.

Spineless borrows little else from this original project. Our true lineage is as a byproduct of the admirable tradition of independent, subversive media at Lancaster - from the newspaper John O'Gauntlet through to the email newsletters Inkytext and subtext.

We began during the November/December 2019 UCU strike as a strike bulletin. Our website was launched in January 2020, and stories broken in Spineless have been subsequently covered in The Times and Private Eye. We have been lauded, condemned, and everything in between as we attempt to introduce a canon of critical student reportage to Bailrigg.

Our Supporters

In Issue 192, subtext described us as 'an online publication in the tradition of Lancaster’s radical past, full of news, gossip and opinion, written by an anonymous (ish) collective of Lancaster students... subtext doesn’t necessarily endorse all they say, nor how they choose to say it, but what they do say is usually at least interesting and it’s always nice to have some fellow muckrakers about.'

Our Detractors

For balance, the anonymous Lancfessions #1529 described us as follows: 'Spineless is basically an angsty leftist blog trying to be real journalism, the people behind it need to research something called journalistic ethics.'