Peter Hallward writes: "Unable to sustain let alone win the argument in public debate, unwilling to devote even minimal time for general consultation and discussion, the government has instead opted to quash our demonstrations with naked force, intimidation and collective punishment." That certainly explains the open brutality of the police's response - it has become a counterinsurgency, in which the population of the UK is becoming the 'enemy within' once more. The British police system was, after all, partially constructed from the materials of the colonial repression. Before Scotland Yard, there was the Thugee and Dagocity colonial police department. Many of the Met's modern policing techniques were pioneered in India first, as part of the business of subduing the native population.
But look what happens when you let London's finest thugs off the leash. Here, they turf Jody Macintyre out of his wheelchair, throwing him onto the road, and drag him along until horrified students intervene on his behalf:
These are people who come armed to the teeth, helmeted, shielded, combat-trained and baton-wielding. Then they take a dive for the cameras the moment anything more wounding than "hello" comes their way - some of them evidently graduated from the Gillian McKeith school of melodramatic swooning. But they aren't scared to have a go at someone in a wheelchair if they feel like it. They aren't shy about beating up teenage girls, or giving students brain damage either. So, definitely, give them the use of the water cannon by all means.
Update: Here is the BBC's version of the same story. Brace yourself: