I'll say it again - the Patrician is a manipulator and keeps A-M balanced between being completely lawless and just lawless enough to allow it to function.
Granny, Vimes and Vetinari are my joint 3 favourite characters (after Gaspode of course
) and they're all similar in that they know people and sometimes use their knowledge of what drives people against them...?
For instance the famous Cripple Mr. Onion game where Granny foils the riverboat card sharks with so many 'tells' that they have no idea what she's up to - Vimes managing to keep Nobby and Colon's venal attitudes in order most of the time - and Vetinari having bolts on the inside of his dungeons in GG...
So far as the Watch is concerned, Vetinari is like an ice-cool fulcrum between Carrot's 'charismatic' but excessive goodness (for want of a better word) and reasonable faith in people and Vimes' passionate cynicism, street-wise instincts and robustly spontaneous sense of justice. And with the Guilds too - he keeps them all up in the air so no one faction gets too powerful.
I found Nightwatch
rivetting because of its examination of everyone's early career and Vimes (past and present) and Vetinari were by far the most insightful and intriguing
If Vetinari was a spinning plate act then you could trust your Royal Doulton (with the blue periwinkles
) to him 'cos he never breaks 'em.