This may sound like an obscure take on a well-known prelude to a joke, but the punchline isn’t funny: they all think environmentalism has an image problem.

The eagle-eyed may notice that all three occupy a space somewhat to the right of the political centre. This is because they make up three of 14 contributors to the Conservative Environment Network’s new publication, Responsibility & Resilience: What the Environment means to Conservativeslaunched in the UK Parliament on February 26th.

The document aims to ‘completely explode the myths that the environment belongs on the left of politics or that business is not leading on this issue,’ according to Ben Goldsmith, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Conservative Environment Network.

Without entering into the politics of this, it’s interesting from a PR perspective that some on the right are so concerned that the left have monopolised the green thought leadership space, that they’ve assembled an all-star conservative cast to try and reclaim voice-share.

Language of ‘exploding myths’ may owe more to the subconscious influence of having an icon of the ‘80s action movie genre on the roster, but it also speaks to the power of these allegedly entrenched myths, and the desperation to shake them.

It’s also a great example at the highest level of how ownership of an idea can stick and keep on delivering long-term returns for those that have entrenched themselves firmly on the favourable side of the debate. For further evidence, just look at how those caught on the wrong side panic and scramble to reclaim it as their own.

Though not all arenas are as fiercely partisan as politics’ upper echelons, it’s a lesson and a reminder for all PR practitioners on the power of well-executed and sustained thought leadership on an emotive topic.

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