After being out of chess for many years, I became interested again. While I never studied in my earlier playing days, I always played e4 openings when white. That was partly due to that being recommended by the one book I read and partly because that is what Fischer (usually) played and Fischer was the world champion and something of an idol at the time.
Now, I'm trying to take chess a bit more seriously. Much of what I've read recommends the London System as an opening for beginners. That has been backed up by a couple coaches (one a National Master, the other an International Master) from whom I've taken instruction.
It seems the London System has a reputation as a "safe" opening. I've read this in several places online and heard it from the coaches I mentioned above. Furthermore, I've even read things that say you can develop in the London without paying attention to what your opponent is doing.
Of course there is a learning curve with a new opening, thus I don't expect to get win after win after win with the opening. However, my results with the London have not left me feeling that it is "safe". In one tournament game against a beginner I lost two pieces because I really didn't pay attention to what he was doing until too late. In a "friendly" against a master, he destroyed me with a tactic I'd never seen, but which he said is well known as an attack against the London. In other games in which I've tried it, I have felt like I'm being forced out of the system very early.
Thus, why is the London System considered safe? Why do proponents say you can utilize it regardless of what your opponent does?