The folks over at LabourList have produced a nice summary of the comments Osborne has made on maintaining AAA as an objective of Coalition policy. There are a few gems, but this comment from August 2009 illustrates just how attached Osborne was to the top-grade rating:
“I have argued it with my opponents in difficult economic times, when I warned them last autumn that the cupboard was bare and the discretionary borrowing had to stop – and now Britain faces the humiliating possibility of losing its international credit rating.”
As we've been seeing this morning, the market response to the downgrade has been muted. These words could be Osborne's undoing however. The fall of Nicholas Sarkozy in France can clearly be traced to France's own downgrade. Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions should be lively.