The Power of Parliament is an autobiographical account of Tessa Jowell's experience of entering politics and making effective sense of her role. In telling the story, drawn out by questions from Frances D'Souza, Jowell gives fascinating insights into the workings of Parliament, the successful development of policy into legislation, and also of her interior life: what inner resources she brought to the role; how she protected herself against the morally corrosive force of power-seeking; what inspired her and what troubled her. The result is a master-class in how to be a good politician. The Power of Parliament offers not just a case study of the life and work of a politician, but also attends to deeper questions about what is morally and emotionally demanded of a politician - exposed as they are to corrosive effects of having to seek and retain power - and of the institution of Parliament itself, in the face of public hostility and indifference.
Claire Foster-Gilbert read theology at Balliol College, Oxford and developed expertise in medical ethics as a Research Fellow at King's College, London. She then moved to work for the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England as policy adviser. She left in 2008 to found a charity, The Ethics Academy. She is currently member of the British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee, Unilever's Central Research Ethics Advisory Committee and the McDonald Centre for public theology and ethics, Christ Church, Oxford.