Since when did the loyalist paramilitaries receive a mandate from the British public to undertake shootings and bombings in their name? And just how would the assasination of Northern Irish Catholics (which is what is meant by "violent reaction") benefit the people of England, Scotland and Wales? A similar condemnation from John Major should have followed the loyalists' threats, or is loyalist violence seen merely as an "inevitable response" to republican violence?
Throughout the peace process, the British government's obstruction of progress on all-party talks and attempts to humiliate Sinn Fein/IRA (first the word "permanent", then decommissioning) has left it exposed to the accusation that it is following a Unionist agenda, and is itself a part of the conflict. Different attitudes towards loyalist and republican violence will reinforce this view.