In a week which has seen Tony Blair squirming as both the public and members of parliament have accused him of misleading the House over Saddam’s weapons the UK & US have announced plans to dramatically expand the diameter of their weapons search radius.

With the launch of the cutting edge British space probe Beagle II to Mars this week the coalition forces now have a unique opportunity to search a perfect hiding place for Saddam’s missing WMDs. Donald Rumsfeld took time out from looking like a man who’s just had a large lemon shoved up his arse to explain that Saddam was a cunning fiend and hiding his weapons on a different planet was exactly the sort of thing he would do to confound and humiliate the allies. John Reid added that he agreed with Mr. Rumsfeld and that Saddam probably had some aid in this, no doubt from ’rogue agents’.

So the Beagle II will now search for evidence of microbial life or micro fossils in the Martian soil, evidence of liquid water in past times and possible places of concealment for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Some have hinted that perhaps Saddam himself cannot be found in the burning sands of Iraq because he too has hidden himself in the cooler sands of Mars. President Bush is already said to be considering ’liberating’ the red planet. Tony Blair has once more re-iterated that in order to produce the proof that he was right and didn’t mislead the British public the investigators needed more time. Obviously searching Mars will take even more time than we previously thought. “That’s what we said a few months ago,” said Hans Blix. Naturally with that kind of petulant attitude we won’t be asking those pesky UN inspectors back.

When asked how the Iraqi dictator got his weapons to Mars when his missiles had a range of less than a hundred miles a Pentagon scientist postulated that perhaps they tied a bunch of them together.